Course Title: Script and story edit television drama

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2015

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


Week Content Assessment due
1 Skills inventory
Sample scripts
Final Draft - introduction

Role of the Story and Script Editor: history/overview

Our collaborative work – discussion and development

3 Role 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

Assessment task #1: Script Editor Visits (as scheduled)

5 Story editing/development: Building characters
Script editing: scene and sequence analysis
structural modification
Story hooks and character transition
Story editing/development: Building stories

Writing character and story notes
Segment plotting

Story conference debrief/feedback

Assessment task #2: Story Conferences
8 Presentation of character and story notes
Segment plotting (cont’d)
Assessment task #2: Story Conferences (cont’d)
9 Delivery of written first draft sequences
Script editing: script rewriting and polishing
10 Delivery of written first draft sequences (cont’d)
Script editing: Writer/editor meetings
Assessment task #3: Working with Writer
11 Final day for Script Editor visits/reports
Script editing: Writer/editor meetings (cont’d)
Assessment task #3: Working with Writer (cont’d)
  Mid-semester break - 21 September to 2 October  
12 Delivery of written second draft sequences
Reshaping skills: structure and rhythm
13 Delivery of written second draft sequences (cont’d)
Masterclass: Script Editing Intensive

14 Delivery of final script Assessment task #4: Edited Script
15 Delivery of final script Assessment task #4: Edited Script (cont’d)
16 Final Review  

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

To demonstrate competency in this course you will need to complete all of the following assessment to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback on all assessment (refer to Blackboard for assessment criteria) and where indicated, you will receive a grade.

Assessment Task #1: Script Editor Visit (Due date: as scheduled with your teacher)
Host a visit from a Script/Story Editor active in the industry, and discuss their role and working methods, using at least 3 scripted and/or visual examples of their editing work.

Assessment Task #2: Story Conference (Due dates: Weeks 7 and 8, 20 and 27 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 oversee the progression to scene breakdown and first draft script.

Assessment Task #3: Working With Writer (Due dates: Weeks 10 and 11, 10 and 17 September)
On delivery of first draft sequences, you are tasked to convene and participate in a meeting with the writers, at which the writer’s intentions are clarified, and the strengths and weaknesses of each writer’s sequence are discussed. Story restructuring and any other changes are negotiated. Your job is to make each writer’s task as clear and effective as possible, with particular regard to the sequence you plotted. Redrafted scenes will then be collated by the group.

Assessment task #4: Edited Script (Due dates: Weeks 14 and 15, 22 and 29 October)
A fully-edited final draft of a complete episode, including the sequence you plotted and progressed, and your editor’s pass on all other material. Your fully-edited script may be presented and discussed in a class debrief. Your fully-edited final draft should be accompanied by a brief synopsis, character notes and location lists, and 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 all digital submissions. 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.

Once you have demonstrated competency, your final assessment (#4) will be graded (refer to Blackboard for grading rubric). 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

The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency. These are available from the course contact person (see above).

Other Information

The major learning experience involves studio-based exercises, demonstration and production-based exercises. 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