Course Title: Write an episode of a TV series

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2011

Course Code: COMM5922

Course Title: Write an episode of a TV series

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6088 - Advanced Diploma of Screenwriting

Course Contact : Program administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4368

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Teacher: Ben Michael

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 Assess TV Scripts (COMM5921) before enrolling in Write an episode of a TV series.
At RMIT Collaborate in a Creative Process (MKTG5778C) is delivered and assessed together with Write an episode of a TV series (COMM5922)

Course Description

The unit Write an episode of a TV series develops the skills and knowledge required to write an episode as TV series as a commissioned piece. The unit is delivered and assessed within the course Write TV, which is made up of three competencies:
1. Assess TV Scripts COMM5921
2. Collaborate in a creative process MKTG5778C
3. Write an episode of a TV series COMM5922
Assess TV Scripts is delivered and assessed in Semester 1.
The units Write an episode of a TV series and Collaborate in a creative process are delivered together and assessed separately in Semester 2. 

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VPAU307 Write an episode of a TV series


1. Establish program requirements

Performance Criteria:

1.1 The target audience is clearly identified Identify audience and purpose, and requirements for genre, structure and format
1.2 The production requirements and budgetary limitations are clarified
1.3 The genre and format of the script are clearly delineated
1.4 Story and character arcs are clearly established
1.5 Script is tailored to series episode length


2. Assess script elements

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Plot and narrative construction are analysed against conventions of the program
2.2 Style of script is examined for consistency with program style and audience expectations
2.3 Content of script is reviewed for consistency with genre and format
2.4 Characterisations are critiqued against program conventions and audience expectations
2.5 Script is checked for continuity


3. Redress script problems

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Script’s strengths and weaknesses are summarised
3.2 Tasks necessary for re-drafting of script are established
3.3 Appropriate strategies for re-drafting of script are prioritised
3.4 Written analysis is formatted to script department requirements and presented punctually

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to write an episode of a TV series

Details of Learning Activities

In this course, you learn through:
1. In-class activities:
• lectures
• industry speakers
• teacher directed group activities/projects
• class exercises to review discussions/lectures
• peer teaching and class presentations
• group discussion
• class exercises to review discussions/lectures
• analysis/critique of students’ writings

2. Out-of-class activities:
• independent project based work
• writing and reading assignments
• online and other research
• independent study

In the second semester of the course, Write TV you will be working independently in teams and as individuals, writing scenes for a TV series. You will be expected to spend a minimum of 2 hours a week outside of class time working on this project, and to bring your work regularly to class for workshopping and to receive feedback from your teacher and your peers.

Teaching Schedule

Week ContentAssessment dueCompetency and Elements
1Introduction to the semester’s work and assessment.
Collaborating in a creative process – overview and exploration of :
• the role of a leader in a collaboration
• the idea of ethical behaviour
• developing a philosophy of trust

Class is divided into groups of four. Each comes up with an idea for a Television show or Film. Each group chooses a leader. It’s the leader’s job to harness the ideas and talents of the group. To sort out problems and keep to the set deadlines.
At the session’s end each group pitches their idea.
  VAU307 – 1
BSBCRT402A – 1/2
2How to successfully voice disagreements within a group

Group leaders change groups. New leaders elected. Groups swap film/TV ideas with other groups. This week the challenge is for the group to come up with a list of problems and changes they feel need to be made to improve the project. Time is left at the end of each class to explain the suggested changes to the group who originated the idea.
  VAU307 – 1
BSBCRT402A – 1/2
3How to let go of your own vanity and ego to allow new ideas to emerge. How to move on from initial positions and embrace new and unpredictable ideas as they emerge.
Group leaders from previous week move to a new group(one they have yet to be part of).
This week the teacher will play Executive Producer and request radical changes to the groups’ project. The group must work out how to include most of the changes while defending the ones they feel must not be changed. The leader makes a pitch to the teacher and class about how they’ve tackled the request for radical change.
  VAU307 – 1
BSBCRT402A – 1/3
4/5Play a role that encourages the movement and shift of ideas within the group towards a well-conceived solution.
Group leaders change to a new group.
Creating a mini Bible for the project. The leader assigns tasks to each member to get the job done on time. Leader assess the work that’s been done and suggests room for improvement in a manner that will get results but keep professional relationships in tact.
  VAU307 – 1
BSBCRT402A – 1/3
6What makes a good concept for a television show. Group to decide project we will be working on. Perhaps using the shows we worked on during Collaborate in a creative process.

Character. How to gives characters dimensions. The character map.
  VAU307 – 1
7Plotting. Story beats.
How can we tell our story in the most effective manner.
  VAU307 –1/2
8Plotting and assembling episodes. Storylining.

Reflecting on level of participation, relationships with others and personal behaviour in collaboration.
  VAU307 1/2
BSBCRT402A – 3
9Scene breakdowns.
First assignment, produce a five scene run of a scene breakdown.
  VAU307 – 2
10Editing scene breakdowns.  Assessment 1 due VAU307 – 2
11Writing exercises. Getting started. The principles of good writing. Doing the first scenes for our show.  Assessment 2 due VAU307 – 3
12Class discussion and feedback on written scenes.
Second assignment. Write four scenes from the show we’re working on.
  VAU307 – 3
13Writing action. Writing romance.   VAU307 – 3
14Writing comedy Assessment 3 due VAU307 – 3
15Editing scripts.
Final assignment. Edit the work of another student.
 Assessment 4 due VAU307 – 3/4
16Editing continued.
Third and fourth drafts. The art of the extra polish.
Course wrap up. Getting work in the industry. Examples of real life script problems and solutions.
  VAU307 – 4
17Assessment Week  

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

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


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. Report on the Collaborative Process
Due date: Week 10
Percentage Weighting: 15%
You are to write a report (800 words), reviewing and analysing the collaborative process your group went through this semester.

Assessment 2. Storyline
Competency addressed:
Due date: Week 11
Percentage Weighting: 20%
You are to write five sequential scenes in the house scene breakdown style decided on by the class.

Assessment 3. First Draft
Competency addressed:
Due date: Week 14
Percentage Weighting: 45%
You are to write the first five scenes of a program decided on by the class. You will be assessed on staying in house style, keeping character voices, selling the plot points and character arcs of the scenes.

Assessment 4. Editing
Competency addressed:
Due date: Week 16
Percentage Weighting: 20%
You are given five scenes from a fellow class member. You then edit the script, taking on board the script notes delivered by the teacher and fellow class members.

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. These are
available through the course contact in Program Administration

Other Information

You will receive both spoken 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. 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