Course Title: Originate a body of independent creative work

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2020

Course Code: VART6475C

Course Title: Originate a body of independent creative work

Important Information:

Not applicable.

School: 375T Vocational Design and Social Context

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6160 - Advanced Diploma of Professional Screenwriting

Course Contact: Penny Johnson

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4815

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff


Alan Woodruff

Nominal Hours: 75

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

You are advised to have completed the Semester 1 course VART6474C Realise a body of creative work.

Course Description

This course builds on the foundation skills taught in Semester 1, to develop a screen project up to commencement of writing the first draft.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUAPPR601 Originate a body of independent creative work


1. Develop conceptual thinking

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Identify potential for individualised or specialised research based on current practice

1.2 Investigate new sources of ideas, trends and research opportunities

1.3 Evaluate own practice to evolve personal ideas with due consideration of intellectual property requirements

1.4 Use critical analysis to challenge assumptions, preconceptions and norms, and evolve ideas and innovative approaches for own work

1.5 Hone and adapt ideas for work and personal goals, based on emerging ideas and research


2. Seek professional opportunities and engagement

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Pursue opportunities for professional work based on established goals and aspirations

2.2 Evaluate potential commercial opportunities as part of a viable professional practice

2.3 Engage with professionals within and outside the arts community to further develop own ideas, professional identity and opportunities for work

2.4 Establish sustainable ways to support ongoing professional engagement


3. Plan an independent creative project

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Integrate individual research, personal ideas and professional realities to confirm the concept and strategy for a body of creative work

3.2 Develop and implement a plan incorporating objectives, resources, risk and contingency planning, budget and timelines, adjusting plan as necessary

3.3 Consider and integrate the promotion, exhibition and communication of the work in the planning process


4. Realise the body of creative work

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Integrate command of technique, materials and process to create finished work of professional standard suitable for the public domain

4.2 Deepen individual engagement with techniques, ideas and the relationships between them

4.3 Apply critical and creative thinking to challenge, adapt and refine the creative work

4.4 Further evolve and refine ideas through processes of experimentation and exploration

4.5 Address the disparate challenges of the project, adapting the project approach as required to complete work on time and within budget


5. Evaluate professional work

Performance Criteria:

5.1 Seek and apply constructive feedback from others to improve own work

5.2 Evaluate work against planned strategy for own creative practice

5.3 Evaluate own work and technical skills in the context of work by others to extend own practice

5.4 Adjust work processes and practice as necessary to improve technical, conceptual and commercial outcomes

Learning Outcomes

You will have gained the craft skills required to develop and prepare a thorough structure, including characters, story arcs and turning points, by creating a full-length beat sheet for a major screen project.

Details of Learning Activities

In this course, you learn through:

1. In-class activities:

  • lectures 
  • teacher directed group activities/projects 
  • class exercises to review discussions/lectures 
  • peer teaching and class presentations 
  • group discussion 
  • class exercises 

2. Out-of-class activities:

  • independent project based work 
  • writing and reading assignments 
  • online and other research 
  • independent study

Teaching Schedule



Class content Assessments

Week 1

Jul 9

Introduction to the course. Review screenwriting protocols, including essential presentation skills (correct layout, common spelling and grammar errors).

Loglines and pitching.

Discuss Assessment Task 1: The pitch.


Week 2

Jul 16

Refining your idea. Preparing the pitch.  

Week 3

Jul 23

Pitching. Assessment Task 1 due

Week 4

Jul 30

Getting started. Beginning and ending. Designing the inciting incident. Protagonist and antagonist.  

Week 5

Aug 6

Three Act Structure revisited. Act 1. Character design: protagonists, antagonists, and secondary characters.  

Week 6

Aug 13

TP 1 workshop.  

Week 7

Aug 20

TP 2 workshop. 

Act 2: Using sequences to help map out the confrontation stage of the story.

Assessment Task 2: review


Week 8

Aug 27

Act 2: midpoint and B story.

Assessment Task 2 due 



Mid-semester break: Monday 31 August – Friday 4 September inclusive  

Week 9

Sep 10

Workshop work-in-progress Assessment Task 3. Assessment Task 3 now in progress, due Week 14

Week 10

Sep 17

Workshop work-in-progress Assessment Task 3: Using sequences to help map out Act 2.  

Week 11

Sep 24

Workshop work-in-progress Assessment Task 3:

Building the two-page beat sheet toward five pages.


Week 12

Oct 1

Workshopping work-in-progress: draft outlines required in class for feedback Assessment Task 3: draft outline required 

Week 13

Oct 8

Workshopping work-in-progress: draft outlines required in class for feedback


Week 14

Oct 15

Workshopping work-in-progress: draft outlines required in class for feedback

Assessment Task 3 due

Week 15

Oct 22


No scheduled class: semester review TBC



Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts



Resources available on Canvas.

Other Resources

You will require access to a computer and to the internet for this course. RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems and access to specialised facilities and relevant software. You will also have access to the library 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

Overview of Assessment

In this course you will progress from the delivery of your pitch, through a developed outline, to a comprehensive beat sheet listing the story points and scenes of your proposed major project.

Assessment Tasks

Students enrolled in Vocational Education and Training qualifications are assessed for Competency. To be assessed as 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.

You should refer to the assessment brief which is available through Canvas for full assessment criteria.

The objective of this course is to provide you with the ability to develop a screen story idea from inception to beat sheet stage, so that the project is ready for the commencement of writing the first draft. To this end, the three stages of assessment will focus on your ability to progress through these pre-writing stages.

Assessment 1: The pitch

(Due Week 3: 26 Jul)
Demonstrate your ability to develop a pitch for your proposed feature project, and to respond creatively to feedback from others.


Assessment 2: Knowledge assessment

(Due Week 8: 30 Aug)

This assessment is a short-answer knowledge assessment designed to assess your knowledge in originating a body of independent creative work.


Assessment 3: Develop an outline

(Work-in-progress begins Week 9: 13 Sep; Final submission on Canvas due Week 14: 18 Oct)
Develop and deliver a five-page, single-spaced outline for your proposed feature screenplay in which the inciting incident and the two turning points are clearly apparent.


Once you have achieved competency for all assessments in a unit of competency, you will receive an overall result. If you have not completed an assessment task to a satisfactory standard, you will be given an opportunity to resubmit that task within one week of receiving feedback from your teacher. If the resubmission is deemed unsatisfactory, the matter will be referred to the Program Coordinator.

Results that apply to courses that are delivered and assessed in accordance with competency-based assessment are:

CA: Competency Achieved
NYC: Not Yet Competent
DNS: Did Not Submit for Assessment 

Assessment Matrix

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

Other Information

Your learning experience will involve class-based teaching, discussion, demonstration and practical exercises

It is strongly advised that you 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.  

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

Course Overview: Access Course Overview