Course Title: Originate a body of independent creative work

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2019

Course Code: VART6475C

Course Title: Originate a body of independent creative work

Important Information:

Not applicable.

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6160 - Advanced Diploma of Professional Screenwriting

Course Contact: Program Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4815

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Teacher: Alan Woodruff

Ph: 9925 4307

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 will develop the skills and knowledge required to write a screenplay as either a commissioned script or as a speculative venture. You will also consider what motivates a screenwriter and how to give and receive feedback.

The course will provide you with the opportunity to identify a variety of script structures, formats and genres, and to develop the confidence and tools to pursue a screen narrative. You will develop a screen project that you can then take in to second year for further work.

Examples of learning activities:

  • class exercises – both written and practical
  • practical demonstrations
  • discussion regarding relevant web site and reading material
  • film viewing and analysis
  • group projects
  • research
  • independent project based work
  • workshopping of student projects including peer/lecturer feedback


Teaching Schedule

Week 1


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


Refining your idea. Preparing the pitch.  

Week 3


 Pitching. Assessment Task 1 due

Week 4


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

Week 5


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

Week 6


TP 1 workshop.  

Week 7


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

Week 8


 Act 2: midpoint and B story.  


Mid-semester break: Monday 2 September – Friday 6 September inclusive  

Week 9


 Workshop work-in-progess Assessment Task 2. Assessment Task 2 due

Week 10


Using sequences to help map out Act 2.  

Week 11


 Building the two-page beat sheet toward five pages.  

Week 12


Workshopping work-in-progress Assessment Task 3a & b.  

Week 13


Workshopping work-in-progress Assessment Task 3a & b.  

Week 14


Workshopping work-in-progress Assessment Task 3a & b. Assessment Tasks 3a & b due

Week 15


No scheduled class



Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Any additional resources will be made available to you by your teacher.

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

To demonstrate competency in this course you will need to complete the following assessment tasks to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback on all assessment and an opportunity to resubmit if needed.

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 Task 1: Pitch – due Week 3

Deliver a pitch for your project. See Canvas for full details.

Assessment Task 2: Two-page outline – due Week 9

Deliver a tight, two-page beat sheet that provides the A story and the protagonist arcs. See Canvas for full details.

Assessment Tasks 3a & b: Seven-page beat sheet/Reflection – due Week 14

Deliver a tight, seven-page beat sheet with all the issues identified in the developmental stages resolved, so that the project is ready for commencement of writing the first draft.

Additionally, supply an analysis of the project identifying its strengths and weaknesses and an evaluation of your performance during the development of your screen story. See Canvas for full details.

Once you have achieve competency in this unit, you will be graded according to your performance throughout the unit. For the graded rubric, please see Canvas.


Once you have demonstrated competency in all assessment tasks, your overall work across the semester will be graded.

Grades used in this unit are as follows:

CHD Competent with High Distinction
CDI Competent with Distinction
CC Competent with Credit
CAG Competency Achieved - Graded
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS Did Not Submit for Assessment

For further information on the assessment and grading criteria, please refer to the course Canvas site.

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

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. 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.

Assessment Feedback
You will receive spoken and written feedback on all your work. Where relevant, this feedback will also include suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.

Student Progress
Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy designed to assist you in achieving your learning potential.

Adjustments to Assessment (eg. applying for an extension of time): 
If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment satisfactorily by the due date, you can choose to apply for an adjustment to your assessment. RMIT University offers a range of adjustments designed to support you in your studies, including an extension of time to complete the assessment.

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.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview