Course Title: Assess a film script during development

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2013

Course Code: COMM7315

Course Title: Assess a film script during development

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6125 - Advanced Diploma of Professional Screenwriting

Course Contact : Program Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4815

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Teacher: Ian Pringle

Tel: 9925 4514


Nominal Hours: 70

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This course looks at the skills and knowledge require to assess a film script.. It involves assessing script construction, style and content, evaluating script changes and  writing a script report.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

ASWAFS602A Assess a film script during development


1. Assess script construction, style and content

Performance Criteria:

Film genre and the elements establishing it in the script are identified
1.2 Premise and plot are determined
1.3 Consistency and strength of story structure, characterisation
and character development are analysed
1.4 Effectiveness of narrative elements is evaluated
1.5 Style and genre are analysed for effectiveness
1.6 Script format is examined for compliance with industry requirements


2. Evaluate changes made in various drafts

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Any changes occurring in premise, theme or subject are delineated
2.2 Principal changes in plot, characterisation and character development are charted
2.3 Changes to narrative elements are identified
2.4 Effectiveness of changes is analysed


3. Write a script report

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Overview of script’s strengths and weaknesses is prepared
3.2 Estimate is made of work needed to bring script to production quality
3.3 Strategies and/or options for rewriting are outlined
3.4 Report is formatted to company or funding body’s requirements
3.5 Report is provided punctually to agreed deadlines

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, you will be able to assess a film script and provide constructive feedback on  construction, style and content. You will be also be able to evaluate changes that are made and write a script report.

Details of Learning Activities

In this course, you learn through:

1. In-class activities:
• lectures
• industry speakers
• teacher directed group activities/projects
• peer teaching and class presentations
• group discussion
• class exercises to review discussions/lectures
• analysis/critique of students’ writings

2. Out-of-class activities:
• independent project based work
• writing and reading assignments
• online and other research
• independent study

Teaching Schedule

WeekClass ContentAssessment DueElements
1Introduction: Practise and protocols of script editing.
Breakdown “The Roarty’s” feature script.
Read twice and complete 1-page assessment & 1-paragraph synopsis.
Discussion of assessment due Week 8
2Class exercise: breakdown of “The Roarty’s”
Examination of story and structure
3Class exercise: breakdown of “The Roarty’s”
Examination of plot and character elements. Analysis of moral determinates.
4Class breakdown of ‘The Roarty’s”
Analysis and discussion of point of view, tone and genre
5Class breakdown of ‘The Roarty’s”
Evaluation of project
6Class exercise: adaptation of a sequence from “Smiley’s People”  1
7Class analysis and evaluation of “Smiley’s People”  1
8View “Smiley’s People” sequence
Class evaluation “Smiley’s People”
Assessment #1 due 2
9Class viewing: “Zodiac” and “Mr. Wolf”  1,2
10“Zodiac” and “Mr. Wolf” script to screen – analysis and discussion of significant changes  2,3
11Continued analysis and discussion around significant changes made to the scripts of “Zodiac” and “Mr. Wolf” for the screenAssessment #2 due 2,3
 Mid-semester break - two weeks  
12Class discussion and exercises set around analysis of “Zodiac” and “Mr. Wolf”  3
13Viewing “Lake Mungo”
“Lake Mungo”: analysis of the treatment to first draft
Assessment #3 due 3
14Class discussion “Lake Mungo” treatment to first draft  3
15Class exercise: “Kyneton Gothic”. Looking at script set-up and openingsAssessment #4 due 1-3
16No classes: Cup Day weekend  

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course is ongoing throughout the semester. Your knowledge and understanding of course content is assessed through participation in class exercises, oral presentations and through the application of learned skills and insights to your written script assessment  tasks.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment tasks in this course are either formative or summative. Formative tasks provide the basis for ongoing feedback and can be considered essential building blocks for the more substantial summative assessment tasks, which are graded.
To demonstrate competency in this course, you will need to complete the following assessment tasks to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback on all assessment.

Formative assessment

Assessment #1: Breakdown of feature script
Complete a breakdown of assigned short feature script, “The Roarty’s”. Due to be submitted in class of Week 8

Assessment #2: Editing sequence
Adapt and edit sequence from a novel into a screenplay format – “Smiley’s People”. Due to be submitted in class of Week 11

Assessment #3: Appraisal of screenplay
Appraisal of screenplay, genre, tone, historical background – “Zodiac” and “Mr. Wolf”. Due to be submitted in class of Week 13

Summative assessment

Assessment #: Feature Appraisal
Appraisal of designated contemporary Australian feature. Due to be submitted in class of Week 15


The competency Assess a film script during development is graded. The grades used are as follows:

HDI Competency with high distinction
CDI Competency with distinction
CC Competency with credit
CAG Competent graded
NYC Not yet complete
DNS Did not submit

Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency. This is available through the course contact in Program Administration

Other Information

The major learning experience involves studio based exercises, demonstration and production. It is strongly advised that you attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.

Feedback You will receive verbal and written feedback by teacher on your work. This feedback also includes suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.
Student feedback at RMIT

Student Progress
Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy to assist you to achieve your learning potential. Student progress policy

Special consideration Policy (Late Submission)
All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level. If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by the due date, you will need to apply for an extension. Special consideration, appeals and discipline

Cover Sheet for Submissions
You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work. This signed sheet acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism - RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy go to Academic Integrity

Work Placement:
It is a requirement of this program that all students participate in authentic work-related tasks. These may be either simulated or in a real work environment. On occasion, we are approached by industry and given opportunities for students to apply for short-term placements. When these placement opportunities arise, students are required to negotiate the specific details with the relevant program coordinator or teacher. All industry placements require students, RMIT staff and host organisations to sign a written agreement prior to the commencement of the placement.


Course Overview: Access Course Overview