Course Title: Script edit a feature film

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2013

Course Code: COMM7326

Course Title: Script edit a feature film

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

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Teacher: Ian Pringle
Phone: 03 9925 4514


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


Course Description

In this unit you will develop the knowledge and skills required by a script editor to work with a writer, either through a film production company or independently, to edit and develop a feature length script.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

ASWSEF613A Script edit a feature film


1. Build partnerships

Performance Criteria:

1.1 A working relationship with the scriptwriter, producer and/or director is developed and maintained
1.2 Assistance is given to the writer to clearly communicate his/her story and
1.3 A project schedule is negotiated concerning target dates for rewrites, revisions and the final deadline for delivery


2. Assist writer to develop script

Performance Criteria:

2.1The structure, themes and genre of the story are identified
2.2Consensus is built around the strengths and development needs of the script
2.3Story, structure and character problems are identified
2.4A review is undertaken of any rewrites and a written analysis given to the writer
2.5Assistance is given to the writer in the preparation of logline and synopsis for the new draft
2.6Goals for subsequent drafts are determined


3. Write a script report

Performance Criteria:

3.1A script report is written to specifications of the funding body or production company
3.2Feasibility of script is clearly evaluated
3.3Story, theme, character development and structure are clearly assessed

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, you will have developed and applied the skills and knowledge required to demonstrate your competency in the above elements and will be able to edit a feature length film script. This is normally done in association with other screen professionals such as fellow editors, directors and a production team.

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
• workshopping of students’ own projects

2. Out-of-class activities:
• independent and group project based work
• online and other research
• discussion and comment via blackboard
• independent study

Teaching Schedule

Please note: While your teachers will cover all the material in this schedule, the weekly order is subject to change depending on class needs and availability of speakers and resources.
This course is broken into 3 distinct phases.

Phase 1 - In this phase, you work on synopses of your own film script. You create synopses of one line, one paragraph, one page. These are presented in class in order to give you an opportunity to decide which scripts you want to work on. This will be part of the process of deciding on an editing partner for the course.

Phase 2 - This phase involves a revision of script editing practice. There is discussion around examples and practice of the editing protocol to be used in this course. You will be taken through the editing of a feature by completing breakdowns, analysis and preparation of editing notes on an Australian feature.

Phase 3 -
In this phase, you work in partnership with another student, each of you preparing a breakdown of the other’s scripts. Each prepares a script editor’s report on the draft, detailing areas for improvement, sketching out plans for the next draft. These reports are exchanged between partners, discussed and a final set of notes for the revision prepared. The notes and plans for the new draft are discussed in individual sessions with the lecturer.



Introduction and explanation of course content and assessment.

Discussion of individual scripts and synopses.

Ass.1: Finalise synopses for 1st draft

Discussion of individual scripts and synopses. (cont) On the basis of these scripts and synopses, students decide on editing partner.

Ass.1: Finalise synopses for 1st draft (cont.)

Commence class breakdown of designated feature script.

In-class examination of the script, line by line, scene by scene, act by act; to determine the nature of the structure, strength of plotting and storytelling, distinctive quality of dialogue, established POV’s, genre and tone.

Commencement of in-depth discussion with lecturer regarding individual scripts. This carries through until the end of 1st semester.


Feature script breakdown (cont.)

Examination of storyline and structure




Feature script breakdown (cont.)

Point of view - how is this created?




Feature script breakdown (cont.)

Genre - what aspects of the script contribute to the establishment of genre




 Feature script breakdown (cont.)





How to apply breakdown principles to partner’s script.

Importance of good interpersonal and negotiation skills. Different ways of reaching concensus.

9In-class presentationsASWSEF613A
1, 2
Ass.2: Presentation of breakdown and analysis of feature film script for editing

Begin breakdown of partner’s script, utilising the informed technique established for breakdown of designated script.

Setting project goals and timelines

1, 2
11 Writing an effective script report



12 Writer and editor partnership working on script breakdowns



13 Writer and editor partnership working on script breakdowns (cont.)




Consultation with teacher to provide feedback on breakdown process.

Partner’s breakdown checked by teacher.

ASWSEF613A 1, 2 
15Students discuss with editing partner and lecturer their strategy for 2nd draft.




 Reflection and review of breakdown and editing process.

What has been learned?

ASWSEF613A 1, 2,3

 Ass.4 Breakdown of partner’s script and script editor’s report

(Summative assessment)

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

While there are no prescribed texts you are strongly advised to make use of the listings of recommended reading and viewing posted on Blackboard, which will be updated on an ongoing basis.


You are advised to look at the course myRMIT site for ongoing updated information.

Other Resources

You will require access to a computer, Final Draft software and the internet for this course. RMIT will provide you with further resources and tools for learning through our online systems and access to specialized facilities and relevant software. You will also have full access to the extensive RMIT library resources.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course is ongoing throughout the semester. Assessment will incorporate a range of methods to assess performance and the application of knowledge and skills and will include: participation in class exercises, oral presentations and practical writing and script editing  tasks.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment tasks in both courses course are either formative or summative.

Formative tasks provide the basis for ongoing feedback and can be considered essential building blocks for the more substantial summative assessment tasks.

Summative assessment tasks in this unit are ungraded and will be assessed as either Competent (CA) or Not Yet Competent (NYC).

Formative Assessment
Assessment 1: Finalise synopses for 1st draft – one-line, one paragraph & half page. Due: in class, weeks beginning Feb 11 and 18

Assessment 2: Presentation of breakdown and analysis of feature film script for editing Due: in class, week beginning April 15

Assessment 3: Build a class resource by showing scenes from a nominated film that has influenced or provided inspiration for your work as a script writer and editor. You will lead class discussion around these influences.  Due: On date to be negotiated with teacher.

Summative Assessment

To demonstrate competency in this course you need to complete the following piece of assessment to a satisfactory standard. It will be assessed as Competent (CA) or Not Yet Competent (NYC).

Assessment 4: You will present a breakdown of your partner’s script and write a script editor’s report. Due week 16
 Please refer to the assessment brief for additional information and assessment criteria.

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. It is strongly advised that students attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.

Cover Sheet for Submissions
All students must complete a submission cover sheet for each piece of submitted work.

Plagiarism RMIT has a strict policy on plagiarism. For more information on this policy go to Academic Integrity


All students have access to the myRMIT copyright shell. The myRMIT copyright shell contains information on copyright, plus also examples on how to use copyright works as part of your projects and assignments.

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. Please refer to the following URL for extensions and special consideration:

Student Progress Committee
This committee promotes the early identification of students who are not achieving acceptable academic performance. The committee provides identified students with assistance and seeks to ensure such students are aware of the range of support services available to them at the University. Student Progress Committee (SPC)

Student Feedback
Students are offered opportunities to provide feedback through a variety of mechanisms including online surveys conducted at the end of each course or semester, student complaints and Student Staff Consultative Committees

Course Overview: Access Course Overview