DGTL12013 - Writing for the Screen

General Information

Unit Synopsis

This unit of study builds on the foundation provided by MMST11009 Digital Video and Audio to teach visual storytelling concepts. You will learn how to create a screenplay for a live-action narrative short film through the application of visual storytelling principles. You will develop industry standard documents and visual aids related to the pre-production of a narrative short film. You will learn how to constructively critique screen stories through an exploration of screen culture and history.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 2
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 4
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Prerequisite: MMST11009 Digital Video and Audio

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 2 - 2023

Term 1 - 2024 Profile

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 30%
2. Written Assessment 30%
3. Written Assessment 40%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2022 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 55.56% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 37.50% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Have Your Say
Student feedback indicated that the first assignment took focus away from their writing.
The first Assessment Item in Term 1 2021 was a report analysing the structure of a feature film screenplay in depth. Since the focus of the course is writing a screenplay for a short film it is recommended that the scope of this analysis be scaled down. The assignment can then also include analysis of an early class writing project. This will help the course have a tighter focus on students' screenwriting.
Action Taken
The Three-Act Structure analysis was reduced in scope, and exercises incorporating group and individual writing exercises were included.
Source: SUTE feedback
The writing tasks in Assessment Item 1 followed on from group work in class. Some students found these requirements unclear.
Requirements for writing tasks will be fully elaborated in the Assessment Description.
Action Taken
Source: SUTE feedback
The second and third assessment items had no clear due dates, as they were framed around completing in-class table reads week-by-week. Some students were not comfortable with this.
First and final drafts will be due at set dates. Table reads and redrafting will occur between these dates. Reflection on the table read process will now be part of Assessment Item 3.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Create a screenplay for a live-action narrative short film through the application of visual storytelling principles
  2. Create industry-standard pre-production documents and visual aids
  3. Constructively critique a range of screen stories within the context of screen culture and history.

Not applicable

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Written Assessment
3 - Written Assessment
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Written Assessment
3 - Written Assessment