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Unit Summary

Unit type

UG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

AQF level

7

Level of learning

Intermediate

Pre-requisites

72 credit points in any SCU units

Unit aim

Introduces students to the theory and practice of scriptwriting with introduction to the concepts of character, plot, dialogue, and script presentation. By being exposed to and analysing examples of scripts, the student will be able to select appropriate form and content as applied to radio, film, video, television, and multimedia.

Unit content

  • Introduction: finding the story; starting to write
  • The screenwriting process: logline, synopsis, character profiles, beat outline, treatment, scene breakdown and screenplay
  • Screen story fundamentals:  archetypes; theme; genre; imagery and action; conflict
  • Character:  character and journey; protagonist versus antagonist; theme; goal, stakes and jeopardy; levels of conflict; creating compelling characters; relationships
  • Framing the story:  horizontal structure - the three act paradigm; vertical structure - main plot and subplot hierarchy
  • Screen semiotics: communicating meaning, story and character through imagery
  • The scene: purpose, structure and point of view; building stories from scene sequences
  • Description, action and dialogue: writing for subtext
  • Non linear screen story
  • Adaptation
  • Writing for television
  • A screenwriter’s guide to the industry: the Australian context; development pathways; finding a producer; the development process; contracts and copyright; maintaining momentum

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

GA1: Intellectual rigour, GA2: Creativity, GA3: Ethical practice, GA4: Knowledge of a discipline, GA5: Lifelong learning, GA6: Communication and social skills, GA7: Cultural competence
On completion of this unit, students should be able to: GA1 GA2 GA3 GA4 GA5 GA6 GA7
1 analyse and apply the principles employed in visual writing Creativity
2 analyse and apply the principles of dramatic writing Creativity
3 develop a short script to first draft, through synopsis, and treatment stages Creativity Knowledge of a discipline
4 lay out a script according to current professional practice Knowledge of a discipline
5 analyse and give editorial feedback on the relative merits of students' work. Communication and social skills

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. analyse and apply the principles employed in visual writing
    • GA2: Creativity
  2. analyse and apply the principles of dramatic writing
    • GA2: Creativity
  3. develop a short script to first draft, through synopsis, and treatment stages
    • GA2: Creativity
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  4. lay out a script according to current professional practice
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  5. analyse and give editorial feedback on the relative merits of students' work.
    • GA6: Communication and social skills

Prescribed texts

  • No prescribed texts.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.