Course Title: Develop storylines and treatments

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2020

Course Code: COMM5972C

Course Title: Develop storylines and treatments

School: 375T Vocational Design and Social Context

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6151 - Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media

Course Contact: Nat Bates

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4815

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nicole McKinnon 
9925 4815

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


Course Description

In this course you will cover the skills and knowledge required to develop a narrative, storyline or story structure for film, animation or interactive products.

It applies to individuals who work on a range of film, television and digital media productions. They work collaboratively with content developers,  editors, and producers.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUAWRT502 Develop storylines and treatments


1. Plan and prepare to write production material

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Define script writing construction, style and formats required for the production and clients

1.2 Define and develop ideas and concepts based on analysis of genre, audience and purpose

1.3 Develop elements of narrative, including visual and aural components, dialogue and other communication techniques, such as symbols and icons, to convey information in production material


2. Develop storylines or treatments

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Identify components of script development required by concept proposals

2.2 Develop concepts to synopsis stage or equivalent as required by production format or genre

2.3 Develop treatment and scene breakdown as required by production format or genre

2.4 Evaluate narrative development with relevant personnel and incorporate feedback as required

2.5 Develop material in a format appropriate for story conferencing or pitch presentation to client

2.6 Adopt safe ergonomic practices when using screens and keyboards for long periods of time


3. Finalise storylines or treatments

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Present materials for discussion to production team responsible for story conferences or pitching to clients

3.2 Redraft materials incorporating feedback as required

3.3 Make relevant material ready for next stage of production within agreed timeframes and budget requirements

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will have developed the skills and knowledge required to develop storylines and treatments for media products in the creative industries.

Details of Learning Activities

This course consists of 2 Units of Competency that are clustered together for delivery and assessment. The other unit of competency in this clustered course is: CUAPPR605 Evolve ideas for professional creative work

In class learning activities may include, but are not limited to:

• lectures and/or lab work
• teacher directed group activities and projects
• concept development of group and individual projects
• group discussions and class presentations
• peer and teacher feedback
• WIP (work in progress) reviews
• self directed online, library and industry research
• self directed project production work and reflection

Out of class activities may include, but are not limited to:

• maintaining secure daily backups of all assessment and project data to your RMIT OneDrive account
• accessing online tutorial resources
• self directed online, library and industry research
• self directed project production work and reflection
• class excursions to events and locations outside of RMIT

Teaching Schedule

Please note: While your teacher 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.

WeekTopicClass detailAssessment / Learning activities


Concept 3 Introduction

Generating Ideas


Course introduction

Generating ideas and storytelling techniques based on a range of in-class idea generating exercises. 

AT1: Class Exercises.



Three Acts and Seven Plots

A look into how the 3 act structure is used in film and TV scripts and the seven plots. 


Script structure, style and formatting. 
Hook, narrative audience and genre. 

4External Context & research

Research and critique a film, show or game 

5Self Care

Understand the health and safety risks while working in digital media 

Work in progress review AT1

AT1: Class Exercises.
6Concepts & Synopsis

Introduction to AT2 Creative Ideation Workbook

Developing initial concepts.
A look at Synopsis 


7Writers Workshop & Research

Work in groups to workshop your ideas. 

Undertake research on the key topics your concept is exploring. 



Twisted Concept

Twisted Concept – re-purposing a concept – looking at synopsis and genre

Setting up a workstation 

9Writing a
Pitch Document

Introduction AT3A: Pitch Document 

Loglines, target Audience, genre, synopsis, treatment, final script, character biographies. Flowcharts, Strategy and Scope for interactive projects (game, websites, apps). 

AT2: Creative Ideation Workbook Due.
10Designing a Pitch Document

Design document do’s & don’ts  

11Review of pitch document

Work in progress review – of pitch document so far.  

12Pitch Document Feedback

Continue to work on Pitch document incorporating teacher’s feedback where appropriate. 


Finalise pitch document content and visual presentation. 

Pitch practise workshop 

14Finalise pitch documentWIP - students will be required to present their pitch document to teacher for final review prior to submission and pitch.  AT3A Pitch Document Due 
15Pitch Week AT3B Pitch
Students will pitch their document.  
AT3B Pitch Due 

AT3 Pitch Review 

Students will reflect on their pitch concept.  

AT3C Pitch Review Due

Refine Assignments and course review 



Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

The University Library has extensive resources and provides subject specialist expertise, research advice, help with referencing and support through:
The learning Lab
The Study Support Hub
English for uni workshops

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course is ongoing throughout the semester. Your knowledge of course content is assessed through participation in class exercises, practical project work and through the application of learned skills.

Assessment Tasks

Students enrolled in Vocational Education and Training qualifications are assessed for Competency.  To be assessed competent means you have consistently demonstrated the required knowledge and skills at a standard expected in the workplace. To be assessed as Competent in this course, you will need to complete each assessment task to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback from the teacher at the conclusion of each assessment task.


AT1 Class exercises

Participate in class exercises each week from weeks 1 – 5. The aim of these exercises is to help you learn to develop ideas, to get you to approach the development of ideas from a range of different ways. Some of the exercises will be done in groups or by the individual student.  

Due week 5


AT2 Creative Ideation Workbook

This assessment entails a workbook where you will document your process as you start to develop, experiment with and refine your concept ideas. You will outline three initial ideas that could be turned into a short digital project.

Due week 9


AT3a Pitch document

Continuing on from Assessment 02 where you presented three concepts for feedback from your peers/colleagues, in this assessment you are presenting your polished and refined idea to a simulated industry panel. You will create a pitch document to support your presentation.This document must be formally and professionally presented, as if prepared for a real world client.

Due week 14

 AT3b Pitch presentation

Continuing on from Assessment 3a where you created a pitch document, in this assessment you are presenting your polished and refined idea to a simulated industry panel.

Due week 15

AT3c Pitch presentation review

This is where you must demonstrate your understanding of the techniques we’ve covered as well as additional processes you have explored for your specific project. This is your director's commentary, your behind the scenes, your tell-all story, where you discuss the highls and lows of the evolution of your concept.

Due week 16


Graded assessment in this course uses the following grades:

CA - Competency Achieved
NYC - Not Yet Competent
DNS - Did Not Submit

Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix for this course demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the unit of competency. These matrices are available through Program Administration.

Other Information

Please refer to the RMIT student page for extensive information about study support, assessment, extensions, appeals and a range of other matters.

Your learning experience will involve class-based teaching, discussion, demonstration and practical exercises. You are strongly advised to attend all timetabled sessions. This will allow you to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring you the maximum opportunity to complete this course successfully.

Information about your studies:
You can access My Studies through the RMIT website for information about timetables, important dates, assessment dates, results and progress, Canvas etc.

Information on assessment including Special consideration, Adjustments to assessment, (eg. applying for an extension of time):

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism:
RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy.

Credit Transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning:
Credit transfer is the recognition of previously completed formal learning (an officially accredited qualification).
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is an assessment process that allows you to demonstrate competence using the skills you have gained through experience in the workplace, voluntary work, informal or formal training or other life experiences.
Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) RCC applies only if you have previously successfully demonstrated competence in a unit of competency, and now require to be reassessed to ensure that the competence is being maintained.

Please speak to your teacher if you wish to discuss applying for Credit Transfer, RPL, or RCC for the unit(s) of competency addressed in this course.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview