Course Title: Assess TV scripts
Part B: Course Detail
Teaching Period: Term1 2014
Course Code: COMM7316
Course Title: Assess TV scripts
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 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff
Teacher: Noel Maloney
Teacher: Ben Michael
Nominal Hours: 70
Pre-requisites and Co-requisites
The unit Assess TV Scripts develops the skills and knowledge required to analyse and assess a TV script. By exploring the various stages of the script process and examining the different script elements, you will be able to isolate and identify the flaws and strengths of various scripts. This will enable you to provide feedback to others as well as develop your own work.
National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria
National Element Code & Title:
ASWATV603A Assess TV scripts
1. Establish program requirements.
1.1 The target audience is clearly identified
2. Assess script elements.
2.1 Plot and narrative construction are analysed against conventions of the program
3. Redress script problems.
3.1 Script’s strengths and weaknesses are summarised
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to analyse and assess a TV script
Details of Learning Activities
In class: Workshops, close script readings, class exercises, industry speakers, group discussion and presentation.
Out of class: Independent project work, writing and reading assignments, independent study.
Please note: While your teacher will cover all the material in this schedule, the weekly order is subject to change depending on class needs and availability of speakers and resources.
|Week starting||Class content||Assessment due||Elements|
|Week 2 || What is character development?|
What is characterisation?
What is conflict?
What are character and story arcs?
What is the relationship between character, conflict and story arc?
Basics story concepts: premise, dramatic question, theme, exposition
Basic story components: conflict, action, character, time, place, design etc
Script: Six Feet Under, Series 1, Episode 13, ‘Knock, Knock’. Writer: Alan Ball
Exercise 2: Write an additional scene for above script.
|Week 3 ||What is genre and what does it mean in television? |
Determine budget requirements
Identify roles in script departments
What is the relationship between budgets, genre, script requirements, story and character?
Scripts/Case Study: Episode 1, Series 1, Bed of Roses. Writers: Jutta Goetz & Elizabeth Coleman
Exercise 3: Develop genre
|Week 4 || Tailor scripts to episode lengths|
Work with house style and rules
How do you develop conflict?
Negating the negation
Script: Walking Dead, Series 1 Pilot. Writer: Frank Darabont
Exercise 4: Upping the stakes
|Week 5 ||Themes and their importance to narrative development.|
What is the relationship between theme, character and story?
|Formative Assessment 1:
Develop a TV series concept
|Week 6 || How do plotting requirements differ between formats?|
How do formats effect plotting?
POV. How does it change things?
Exercise 5: Plot additional scenes for given script. Play with point of view.
Guest lecturer: Deb Parsons
|1, 2, 3|
|Week 7 ||How do you structure a scene effectively?|
Imagery. Big print. Telling story with pictures. What cameras can do.
What is the relationship between dramatic action and image?
Script: Breaking Bad, Episode 1, Pilot Writer: Vince Gilligan
Exercise 6: Write an additional scene for above script
|1, 2, 3|
|Week 8 ||Review tools for assessing strengths and weaknesses:|
Script: The Insider’s Guide to Love, Series1, Episode 1: ‘Fallen In Love Lately?’ Writer: David Brechin-Smith
|Formative Assessment 2:|
In-class assessment of given script.
|1, 2, 3|
Serial TV Writing
|1, 2, 3|
|Week 10 ||Serial TV writing |
Story stranding in an episode and over a season
Building irony, suspense and curiosity
Guest lecturer: Shaun Topp
Exercise 7: participate in a plotting session
|1, 2, 3|
| ||MID SEMESTER BREAK: Please note there will be no classes from Friday 18 April through Friday 25 April inclusive.|
| Week 11 ||One on one sessions with teacher.||1, 2, 3|
|Week 12 || Writing the same scene in different house/show styles. ||Summative Assessment 1 due:|
Assess a TV Script
|1, 2, 3|
| Week 13 ||Developing dialogue.||1, 2, 3|
| Week 14 ||Presentations.||Summative Assessment 2 due:|
| Week 15 ||Presentations.||Summative Assessment 2 due: Presentations (cont.)||1,2,3|
| Week 16 || |
|Summative Assessment 2 due: Presentations (cont.)||1,2,3|
All course material will be provided in class
All course materials will be provided in printed form. However digital copies of scripts are also available on blackboard. Students with laptops or tablets are encouraged to download scripts and bring them to class as digital editions.
Suggested Texts: (not required)
Extracts, readings and additional references are provided throughout the course. In addition to hard copy handouts, some readings are made available on Blackboard, and others can be accessed via the web. Recommended books will be discussed in class. You are advised to visit Blackboard for ongoing updated information
Students will require internet access and word processing software.
Overview of Assessment
Assessment 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 writing tasks.
Assessment tasks in this course are either formative or summative.Formative tasks provide the basis for ongoing feedback and can be considered as essential building blocks for the more substantial summative assessment tasks. Summative assessment tasks in this unit are graded.
To demonstrate competency, you will need to complete the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback on all assessment.
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT (Non-Graded)
Formative assessment for this course comprises two in-class exercises. In order to successfully complete this unit, you will need to have done these exercises to a satisfactory standard.
Task 1. Develop a TV series idea
DUE: Week 5
In small groups, you will develop a concept for a television drama series that includes:
- the premise
- the format
- main characters
- the themes
You will share your concepts in class.
Task 2: In class assessment of given script
DUE: Week 8
During class time you will assess a given script with particular attention given to dramatic action, story story, genre, themes, characterisation, character development and format. You will report on your assessment in class time.
SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT (Graded)
The following two assessments will be graded and will determine your final result for this unit.
1. Assess A TV Script Due: Week 12
Write a 1500-word critique a given script of approximately 55minutes in length, in terms of dramatic action, story structure, genre, themes, characterisation, character development and format.
2. Assess A TV Series Due: Weeks 14, 15 & 16
Deliver a class presentation of 30 minutes to the following brief. Working in pairs, choose a TV drama series from a shortlist provided by or negotiated with your teacher. In a dual presentation of approximately 30 minutes, identify its premise, genre, intended audience and specific format. Draw on and present scripted examples from at least five episodes and discuss the success of the series in terms of:
- narrative structures and plot techniques
- major character arcs
Both participants in this project will be assessed equally.
80 – 100% CHD - Competent with High Distinction
70 – 79% CDI - competent with Distinction
60 – 69% CC - competent with Credit
50 – 59% CAG - competency achieved – Graded
NYC - not yet competent
For further information on the assessment and grading criteria, please refer to the course Blackboard site.
The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency. These are available through the course contact in Program administration
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
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.
You will receive spoken and written feedback from teachers on your work. Where appropriate, this feedback will also includes suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.
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. You can apply in writing for up to a week’s extension from your course teacher. If you need a longer extension, you wil need to apply for special consideration. Special consideration, appeals and discipline
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.
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