Course Title: Establish the creative vision for screen productions

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2015

Course Code: VART5924C

Course Title: Establish the creative vision for screen productions

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:mcvet@rmit.edu.au


Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Chris Anastiassades (Feature Film)
Email: chris.anastiassades@rmit.edu.au

Cameron Clarke (Story to Screen)
Tel: 9925 4895
Email: Cameron.clarke@rmit.edu.au

Nominal Hours: 50

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

Pre-requisites – none 

 

Course Description

Establish the creative vision for screen productions (VART5924C) covers the skills and knowledge you need to produce effective written scripts, and to transform written scripts into screen productions through the use of sound and visual images.
This competency is delivered in two different contexts: Feature Film, and Story To Screen.
In Feature Film, you build upon and complete the work on your feature project begun in the first semester in the competency COMM 7326 Script Edit a feature film.
In Story To Screen, through working on a practical project you learn what is involved in the different aspects of creating a screen production.
 


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUFDRT601A Establish the creative vision for screen productions

Element:

1. Review and interpret scripts.

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Read available drafts of scripts and arrange meetings with appropriate creative personnel to discuss potential interpretations of the vision
1.2 Assess the intended creative aims of scripts, define proposed objectives and explore how they may be realize visually or through the use of sound.
1.3 Generate and consider a range of ideas for visualizing scripts until a clear narrative emerges.
1.4 Identify research and reference materials to inform creative directors and to assist in providing the context for productions
1.5 Review script drafts in collaboration with writers, agree on the need for any re-writes and organise timetables for completions.
1.6 Prepare clear development notes for script writers to produce scripts re-drafts as required.
1.7 Document perceived visual and dramatic elements in scripts as the basis for shot plans.
 

Element:

2. Prepare shot plans to realise visual narrative.

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Mark up working script into its component scenes and identify key dramatic elements and technical parameters within each scenic unit.
2.2 Plot key dramatic elements within each scene and between scenes to realise the transformation of the written narrative into its visual representation.
2.3 Consider the whole of the narrative and scenes to determine the location of the characters and other elements for each individual shot.
2.4 Assess the photographic qualities of proposed shots and how they may impact on the story overall and within each scene.
2.5 Ensure overall shot plans allow both narrative and visual aspects to be controlled and carried forward to meet overall production requirements,
2.6 Discuss shot plans with relevant production personnel prior to development of any story boards.
 

Element:

3. Review and communicate proposed shot plan.

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Identify and document areas of productions that may be affected by script versions and discuss changes with colleagues,
3.2 Arrange sign-off for final script with producers if applicable and ensure it is distributed to relevant creative personnel.
3.3 Maintain an ongoing review of script and shot plans and organize for any further rewrites while production is underway.
3.4 Provide relevant production personnel
 


Learning Outcomes


On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to transform written scripts into screen productions through the use of sound and visual images.


Details of Learning Activities

In this course, you learn through:
1. In-class activities:
• lectures
• teacher directed group activities/projects
• industry speakers
• 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

In Feature Film, you will maintain the creative relationship with another writer established in Semester 1.
In Story to Screen, you will be working in self-managed teams to establish the creative vision of the scriptwriter, through the completion of a practical project. This will involve working outside class hours on planning, filming and editing the nominated film script. You will spend a minimum of 18 hours outside class time working on this team-based project with the support of your teacher.
 


Teaching Schedule

Please note that there are two separate teaching schedules, one for each of the contexts in which this competency is delivered: Feature Film and Story to Screen.

FEATURE FILM

Teaching Schedule

WEEK 1 – INTRODUCTION
AIM OF SEMESTER - Prepare a draft that is ‘market ready’ by exploring all aspects of script, identifying key creative personnel etc.
The ‘creative vision’ as an all-encompassing idea that is not only limited to the visual style of the script but takes into consideration the marketability of the work – where it sits in the market, budgetary concerns, identifying collaborators and limits, etc. The aim of the semester is to produce another draft that takes all these things into consideration.

WEEK 2 – FUNDING BODY RESPRESENTATIVE/APPROACHING FUNDING BODIES

DISCUSSION: Exploring options for funding for new writers. Questions that will get you noticed. Includes SPEAKER.
SCRIPT WORKSHOP. Students to supply class with relevant pages for work-shopping with a set of objectives for the session and liaise with teacher prior to session as to how the session will be conducted and submit a session plan as part of their assessment.

WEEK 3 – MEETING WITH OTHER CREATIVES AND POTENTIAL COLLABORATORS
DISCUSSION: Conducting meetings to identify and establish a shared creative vision. Picking some ‘target’ collaborators.
SCRIPT WORKSHOPS SESSION 2, 3 & 4

WEEK 4 – IDENTIFYING AREAS FOR RESEARCH
DISCUSSION: You need to be the expert in the room both on the topic you are writing and the genre in which you are writing. Establishing habits to endeavor to achieve this.
SCRIPT WORKSHOP SESSIONS 5.6 & 7

WEEK 5 – IS THE STORY WORKING?
DISCUSSION – Attacking ‘flat spots’ and ‘place holder’ moments by addressing essential scene priorities.
SCRIPT WORKSHOP SESSIONS 8,9 &10

WEEK 6 – SHOT-LISTING PROBLEM SCENES
DISCUSSION – Often, complex action scenes or transitions can be ‘cured’ with a shot list. (Includes SPEAKER)
SCRIPT WORKSHOP SESSION 11 & 12

WEEK 7 – INTRODUCTORY MATERIALS
DISCUSSION – Often, a short synopsis and even character sketches are powerful tools to draw other collaborators. Identifying key information to present with your script.
SCRIPT WORKSHOP SESSIONS 13, 14 & 15.

WEEK 8 – THE FIRST ACT
DISCUSSION – Review of the importance of opening strong and promising an ‘easy’ read.
SCRIPT WORKSHOP SESSIONS 16,17 & 18
Assessment #1: dueby this week

WEEK 9 – THE BUDGET
DICUSSION – Writing ‘cheaper’ scenes and identifying what parts of your script will ‘scare’ producers away. Are they worth it or do they have to go?
SCRIPT WORKSHOP SESSIONS 19, 20 & 21

WEEK 10 – THE CONVERSATIONAL PITCH
DISCUSSION – Telling your story at parties is one of the most valuable skills you can learn.
SCRIPT WORKSHOP SESSIONS 22, 23 & 24
Assessment #2: due

WEEK 11 – THE THIRD ACT

DISCUSSION – Second only to your opening. The read can either be redeemed or ruined by the last pages of your script. This is not only about the events presented but the emotions you create.
SCRIPT WORKSHOP SESSIONS 25, 26 &27

WEEK 12 – ACT 2 – FROM MID-POINT TO DARK MOMENT
DISCUSSION – Examining key moments after the second act turn and looking for corresponding moments in our scripts. This is where most scripts collapse and where you have to be very hard on your characters.
SCRIPT WORKSHOP SESSIONS 28, 29 & 30

WEEK 13 – WRITING BETTER DIALOGUE
DISCUSSION – Looking at a couple of different exercises to improve dialogue and make those nasty parentheses disappear.
SCRIPT WORKSHOP SESSIONS 31, 32 & 33

WEEK 14 – NOT FUNNY

DISCUSSION – The importance of humor as a tool to sell your script to potential collaborators.
SCRIPT WORKSHOP SESSION 34, 35 & 36

WEEK 15 – A GOOD READ
DISCUSSION – The importance of having others review your script in fine detail for contradictions, issues of clarity, typos, etc.
SCRIPT WORKSHOP SESSIONS 37,38 & 39
Assessment #3: due

WEEK 16 –REVIEW
DISCUSSION – Review key points of semester with an emphasis on craft issues that still exist for people.
SCRIPT WORKSHOP SESSIONS 40,41 & 42
 

STORY TO SCREEN

 

Teaching Schedule

WeekContentAssessment Due
1Explanation of course content and assessment requirements
Discussion of goals
Experience inventory
Overview – previous class films
 
 
2Overview – previous class films (cont’d)
Initial script discussions
 
 
3The short film – briefing
Possible production roles
Script discussions (cont’d)
 
 
4Script development
Discussion of storyboards and their purpose
Storyboarding a short script
 
 
5Studio – intro to camera, lighting, sound, switching for drama (Studio classes subject to availability) 
6Studio – single camera operation 
7Forum Guests
Script development
Assessment Task #2
Storyboard presentations
 
8Forum Guests
Script development (cont’d)
 
9Forum Guests
Pre-production Week #1
 
Assessment Task #1: All forums due to have been completed by this date
10Studio - refresh camera and crew production skills prior to shoot
Pre-production Week #2
 
 
11

Film Shoot: Studio/location
(attendance may also be required on Friday of this week 
             

 
12Second unit/Film Editing 
13Film Editing 
14Film Editing 
15Film EditingAssessment #3: Screening of short film
Assessment #4: Production reports due
16Final Review 


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


References


Other Resources

You will require access to a computer and to the Internet


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 practical projects, oral presentations and through the application of learned skills and insights to your writing tasks.
 


Assessment Tasks

NB There are two different versions of this course. Assessments will vary according to the particular version of the course.

FEATURE FILM
To demonstrate competency in this course you will need to complete all of the following assessment to a satisfactory standard. You will receive written feedback on all assessment (refer to Blackboard for assessment criteria). Once you have demonstrated competency, your final 2 assessment tasks will be graded (refer to Blackboard for grading rubric).

Assessment#1(Due Week 8)
A session plan for a 50 minute script workshop (min. 300 words). Students will be completing these according to a schedule but everyone needs to complete their first session before Week 8

Assessment #2 (Due Week 10)
A shot-list of one scene that tells the story of the scene efficiently.

Assessment #3 (graded) (Due Week 15)
The body text of a cover letter (not including the introductory paragraph or conclusion) which should contain a paragraph synopsis of your film, a short biographical paragraph about yourself, a paragraph indicating you have a sense of the film’s budget (low medium or high will do), intended audience, genre, potential cast choices, etc. (min. 250 words).

Assessment #4 (graded) (Due Week 15)
A writer’s report detailing the work you have done on the script this semester as well as identifying further work required in the future (min 1000 words).

You must email your teacher a Word or RTF copy of this assessment, along with a digitally signed cover sheet. On the program blackboard site you will find a copy of the cover sheet together with instructions on how to set up and use a digital signature. Your teacher may also request a hard copy of this assessment.

The grades used in this course are as follows:

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

****************

STORY TO SCREEN
To demonstrate competency in this course you will need to complete all of the following assessment to a satisfactory standard. You will receive written feedback on all assessment (refer to Blackboard for assessment criteria). Once you have demonstrated competency, your final 2 assessment tasks will be graded (refer to Blackboard for grading rubric).

Assessment #1: Class forum (Due date: as scheduled but by Week 9)
In groups, organise and present a one-hour class visit, workshop, excursion or demonstration with an industry professional in a key production role.
Your work may include:
- Research production role and guest
- Develop brief for the class including aims and format of the visit
- Select and present material for workshopping, case study or use as examples
- Manage the presentation of the event, including class participation, so as to illuminate the relationship of each professional role with the writer and the script throughout the production process

Assessment #2: Storyboard (Due date: by Week 7)
Create a storyboard for a short film, and present it to other team members in a way that effectively conveys your vision for the project.

Assessment #3: Production of a short film (graded) (as negotiated, by Week 15)
You will collaborate effectively with all other members of the creative team in the creation and realisation of a script into the production and completion of a short film. The short film will be a dramatic narrative with a running time of between 5 and 7 minutes. You will have a chance to fulfil multiple roles in the production. All roles are vital to the project’s outcome.

You will be assessed on your ongoing contribution to the successful making of the short film and by teacher observation. The film will be screened on Wednesday 28 October.
 
Assessment #4: Production report (graded) (Due Week 15)
At the screening of the produced collaborative project, you will report to class on your role in the process and outcomes of the group production. You will also supply a written report addressing these points of 600-750 words.

The written report must be emailed to your teacher as an attachment in either Word or RTF. A signed copy of the cover sheet must also be attached. In the program blackboard site you will find a copy of the cover sheet along with instructions on how to set up and use a digital signature. Your teacher may also request a hard copy of the report.

The grades used in this course are as follows:

CHD 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

Attendance
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.

Feedback
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 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. Academic Integrity and plagiarism

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