Course Title: Script and story edit television drama

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2013

Course Code: COMM7327

Course Title: Script and story edit television drama

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6125 - Advanced Diploma of Professional Screenwriting

Course Contact : Course Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4815

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Teacher: John Reeves
Phone: 9925 4895

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

Required Prior Study

At RMIT, you are required to have completed all first year core competencies before enrolling in this elective course.

Course Description

This course delivers the skills and knowledge required by a professional script and story editor working in all facets of television drama production. It introduces you to the business and techniques of running a story meeting, working with the writer, editing a script to match the writer’s vision to various production requirements, and liaising with other screen professionals including fellow editors, directors and the production team.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

ASWSET614A Script and story edit television drama


1 Run a story meeting

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Effective working structure for story meeting group is established
1.2 Contributions from team are encouraged
1.3 Conflict in team is managed effectively
1.4 Story plotting is managed effectively, to deadlines
1.5 Story requirements of program are met


2 Edit a script

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Series requirements are identified
2.2 Script requirements are identified
2.3 Strengths and weaknesses of script are noted
2.4 Script is edited for character, story and production conventions and requirements
2.5 New scenes are written where required
2.6 Story is restructured where required
2.7 Deadlines are met effectively


3 Work with writer

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Writer’s intentions are clarified
3.2 Strengths and weakness of script are communicated to writer clearly
3.3 Changes are negotiated effectively
3.4 Assistance is given where necessary


4 Liaise with production

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Production meetings are scheduled and attended
4.2 Production concerns are noted and acted upon
4.3 Amendments are incorporated into script where needed
4.4 Communication with production personnel is maintained throughout editing process

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to story edit television series or serials.

Details of Learning Activities

In this course, you learn through:
1. In-class activities:
• lectures
• teacher directed group activities/projects
• class exercises
• individual and group project work
• peer teaching and class presentations
• group discussion

2. Out-of-class activities:
• independent and group project based work
• online and other research
• discussion and comment via blackboard
• independent study

Teaching Schedule


WeekContentAssessment dueElements
1Skills inventory
Sample scripts
Final Draft - introduction

Role of the Story and Script Editor: history/overview

Our collaborative work – discussion and development

3Role of the Story and Script Editor (cont’d): Series and Serials
Script editors – short list
Timing Intensive 
4Role of the Story and Script Editor (cont’d): longform series, one-off production
Story editing/development/research exercise
Script editing: assessing script content and structure
5Story editing/development: Building characters
Script editing: scene and sequence analysis
structural modification
story hooks and character transition
6Script/Story editor visits/reports: Assessment #1
Story editing/development: Building stories
Story editing/development: the story conference (part Assessment #2)

Script/Story editor visits/reports (cont’d)
Writing character and story notes (part Assessment #2)
Segment plotting (cont’d)

Story conference debrief/feedback

8Script/Story editor visits/reports (cont’d)
Presentation of character and story notes (part Assessment #2)
Segment plotting (cont’d)
 Assessment #2 due2
9Delivery of brief stories
Script editing: script rewriting and polishing
Script editing: Writer/editor meetings (part Assessment #3)
10Script/Story editor visits/reports (cont’d)
Script editing: Writer/editor meetings (cont’d) 
11Script/Story editor visits/reports (cont’d)
Script editing: Writer/editor meetings (cont’d) 
 Mid-semester break - two weeks  
12Assessment #3: Script evaluation/propsed reshaping Assessment #3 due2/3
13Delivery of second draft stories (part Assessment #3)
Masterclass: Script Editing Intensive


Final day for Script Editor visits/reports 

Writer/editor meetings: debrief /feedback

Assessment #1: all Script/Story Editor visits/reports due
15Final edit and delivery of collated draft script (part Assessment #3)Assessment #3 due3
16Final Review 3/4

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Any prescribed reading material will be distributed in class


You are advised to look at the course Blackboard site for ongoing updated information.

Other Resources

Students will require access to the Final Draft word processing program and the facility to print hard copies of their work. These facilities are available in the Carlton Library. 

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course is on going throughout the semester. Your knowledge and understanding of course content is assessed through participation in class discussion and exercises and through the application of learned skills and insights to your written projects.

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. Summative assessment tasks in this unit are graded.

To demonstrate competency in this course you need to complete each one of the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard.

Formative Assessment

Assessment #1: Script/Story Editor Visit/Report

Meet and interview a Script/Story Editor active in the industry, research their role and working methods, and either host a class visit from your subject, or report to class on your findings in a 25 minute presentation including at least 3 scripted and/or visual examples of their editing work, with written report (500-700 words) supplied.
Due date: As scheduled with the teacher

Assessment #2: Story Editing/Story Conference
Manage a story conference and subsequent meetings where in tandem with other students you will participate in a session at which brief stories will be plotted, each focussing on a different character. You will lead the group in plotting the story relating to a character you have developed, in scenes to be written by another participant. Your job is to make the writer’s task as clear and effective as possible.

At the conclusion of the plotting session you will write up the notes for the story and scenes you have plotted, and relay them to the writer.
Due date: To be completed by Week 8

Assessment #3: Script evaluation/proposed reshaping (written assessment)
Wriet a script evaluation/assessment of a screen drama project and suggest possible strategies for next stage development, including reshaping of the story and emotional line of the material (1500-2000 words).

Due date: Week 12

Summative Asessment 

Assessment #4: Script Editing/Working With Writer Task
Upon delivery of a writer’s draft script, you are tasked to time the material, gather responses from other participants and convene a meeting with the writer, at which the writer’s intentions are clarified, strengths and weaknesses of the script are discussed and clearly communicated. Story restructuring is carried out if required, and any other changes are negotiated as the writer proceeds to a second draft.

Once all second drafts are delivered, you and all other participants will reformat, reshape and edit the stories into a single, multi-linear episode.
Due date: Week 15 

Your assignments will be graded. The grades used in this unit are as follows: 

80 – 100% HD High Distinction
70 – 79% DI Distinction
60 – 69% CR Credit
50 – 59% PA Pass
Under 50% NN Fail

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