Course Title: Script and story edit television drama

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2014

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 
Story editing/development/research exercise
Script editing: assessing script content and structure
Formative assessment task #1: Script Editor Visit/Report (as scheduled)1/3
5Story editing/development: Building characters
Script editing: scene and sequence analysis
structural modification
Story hooks and character transition
Formative assessment task #2: Script Evaluation/Proposed development2
Story editing/development: Building stories

Writing character and story notes
Segment plotting

Story conference debrief/feedback

Formative assessment task #3: Story Conferences2
8Presentation of character and story notes
Segment plotting (cont)
Formative assessment task #3: Story conferences (cont)2
9Delivery of written first draft sequences
Script editing: script rewriting and polishing
10Delivery of written first draft sequences (cont)
Script editing: Writer/editor meetings
Formative assessment task #4: Working with Writer2
11Final day for Script Editor visits/reports
Script editing: Writer/editor meetings (cont)
Formative assessment task #4: Working with Writer (cont)2
 Mid-semester break - 23 September to 3 October  
12Delivery of written second draft sequences
Reshaping skills: structure and rhythm
13Delivery of written second draft sequences (cont)
Masterclass: Script Editing Intensive

14 Final polish
15Delivery of final scriptSummative Assessment #1: Edited Script3
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 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 for this course comprises four exercises. In order to successfully complete this unit, you will need to complete these exercises to a satisfactory standard.

Assessment Task #1: Script Editor Visit/Report (Due date: as scheduled by your teacher)
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. You will provide a written report (500 words).

Assessment Task #2: Script Evaluation/Proposed development (Due date: Tuesday 5 August)
Make a script evaluation/assessment of a TV drama project and suggest possible strategies for development of a further episode, including the characters, their story and the emotional through line of the episode.

Assessment Task #3: Story Conference (Due date: 19 & 26 August)
Play your part in a story conference with other students at which episode stories will be plotted. You will lead the group in plotting a sequence, take meeting notes, and proceed to scene breakdown and first draft script for your sequence.

Assessment Task #4: Working With Writer (Due date: 9 & 16 September)
Upon delivery of another writer’s first draft sequence, you are tasked to time their material, prepare editing notes and convene a meeting with the writer, at which the writer’s intentions are clarified, and the strengths and weaknesses of the writer’s sequence are discussed. Story restructuring and any other changes are negotiated. Your job is to make the writer’s task as clear and effective as possible. Each  of your will then proceed to a second draft of your own sequence.

There is one summative assessment in this course.

Edited Script (Due date: 28 October)

Summary of Assessment
A fully-edited, polished final draft of your scene sequence.

Details of Assessment
Your scene sequence will follow feedback on your second draft material. It will be accompanied by a brief synopsis,
character and location lists, and will contain both individual and cumulative scene timings.

Assessment Submission
All material is to be formatted in Final Draft, and submitted in hard copy as well as digital attachment emailed to your teacher.

A digital, signed cover sheet must be emailed with your digital submission. In the program blackboard site you will find a digital copy of the cover sheet together with instructions on how to set up and use a digital signature.

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

CHD Competent with High Distinction   
CDI Competent with Distinction
CC Competent with Credit
CAG Competency achieved - Graded
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS Did Not Submit for Assessment

Assessment Matrix

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.

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. Student feedback at RMIT

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

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. Academic integrity and plagiariam

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