Course Title: Script and story edit television drama

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2012

Course Code: COMM5936

Course Title: Script and story edit television drama

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6088 - Advanced Diploma of Screenwriting

Course Contact : Brendan

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

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:

VPAU667 Script and story edit television drama


Element 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


Element 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


Element 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


Element 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 Elements
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 
4 Role 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
5 Story editing/development: Building characters
Script editing: scene and sequence analysis
structural modification
story hooks and character transition
6 Script/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

8 Script/Story editor visits/reports (cont’d)
Presentation of character and story notes (part Assessment #2)
Segment plotting (cont’d)
 Assessment #2 due 2
9 Delivery of brief stories
Script editing: script rewriting and polishing
Script editing: Writer/editor meetings (part Assessment #3)
10 Script/Story editor visits/reports (cont’d)
Script editing: Writer/editor meetings (cont’d) 
11 Script/Story editor visits/reports (cont’d)
Script editing: Writer/editor meetings (cont’d) 
12 Assessment #4: Script evaluation/propsed reshaping  Assessment #4 due 2/3
13 Masterclass: Script Editing Intensive

Delivery of second draft stories (part Assessment #3)
Final day for Script Editor visits/reports 

Writer/editor meetings: debrief /feedback

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

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 the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback on all 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
PercentageWeighting: 25%

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 August 21
Percentage Weighting: 25%

Assessment 3. 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: To be completed by Oct 16
Percentage Weighting: 25%

Assessment 4. Script evaluation/proposed reshaping (written assessment)
Write a script evaluation/assessment of a TV drama project and suggest possible strategies for next stage development, including reshaping of the story and the emotional line of the episode. (1500-2000 words)
Due date: Week 12 (September 18)
Percentage Weighting: 25%

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

You will receive both oral and written feedback on your work. Where appropriate, this feedback will also include suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.

Academic Integrity
Academic Integrity is about the honest presentation of your academic work. Presenting work that fails to acknowledge other people’s work within yours can compromise academic integrity.n For further information on academic integrity and plagiarism, please refer to the following URL:;ID=kkc202lwe1yv   

Late Submissions
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. Please refer to the course Blackboard site for information on late submissions and on applying for an extension.

Special Consideration Policy
Please refer to the following URL for information on applying for special consideration:;ID=qkssnx1c5r0y;STATUS=A;PAGE_AUTHOR=Andrea%20Syers;SECTION=1;




Course Overview: Access Course Overview