Unit of competency details

CUFDRT601A - Establish the creative vision for screen productions (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CUADRT601 - Establish the creative vision for screen productionsUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. Minor edits to elements and performance criteria. 14/Jan/2016
Supersedes and is equivalent to CUFDRT01A - Read and interpret the scriptUnit has been updated and is equivalent to CUFDRT01A. 10/Nov/2010

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 11/Nov/2010


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100103 Drama And Theatre Studies  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100103 Drama And Theatre Studies  11/Nov/2010 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to use sound and visual images to transform written scripts into screen productions.

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required by directors to interpret and use key elements of scripts as the basis for developing the creative vision for relatively large-scale productions. These could include feature films, short films or television dramas.

Directors work closely with writers in developing scripts and may have a major influence on the final creative outcome. In the final analysis, directors may be answerable to a producer, but they often perform both roles.

A high level of creativity and innovative thinking is required, since a director's role is to establish the big picture view for productions and to create a sense of overall unity within productions.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units 

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Review and interpret scripts.

1.1. Read available drafts of scripts and arrange meetings with appropriate creative personnel to discuss potential interpretations of the vision.

1.2. Assess the intended creative aims of scripts, define proposed objectives and explore how they may be realised visually or through the use of sound.

1.3. Generate and consider a range of ideas for visualising scripts until a clear narrative emerges.

1.4. Identify research and reference materials to inform creative directions and to assist in providing the context for productions.

1.5. Review script drafts in collaboration with writers, agree on the need for any rewrites and organise timetables for completions.

1.6. Prepare clear development notes for script writers to produce script re-drafts as required.

1.7. Document perceived visual and dramatic elements in scripts as the basis for shot plans.

2. Prepare shot plans to realise visual narrative.

2.1. 1.1 Mark up working script into its component scenes and identify key dramatic elements and technical parameters within each scenic unit.

2.2. Plot key dramatic elements within each scene and between scenes to realise the transformation of the written narrative into its visual representation.

2.3. Consider the whole of the narrative and scenes to determine the location of characters and other elements for each individual shot.

2.4. Assess the photographic qualities of proposed shots and how they may impact on interpreting the story overall and within each scene.

2.5. Ensure overall shot plans allow both narrative and visual aspects to be controlled and carried forward to meet overall production requirements.

2.6. Discuss shot plans with relevant production personnel prior to development of any storyboards.

3. Review and communicate proposed shot plan.

3.1. Identify and document areas of productions that may be affected by script versions and discuss changes with colleagues.

3.2. Arrange sign-off for final script with producers if applicable and ensure it is distributed to relevant creative personnel.

3.3. Maintain an ongoing review of script and shot plans and organise for any further rewrites while production is underway.

3.4. Provide relevant production personnel with appropriate documentation, including latest version of script or script updates as applicable.

Required Skills and Knowledge


This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • communication skills sufficient to:
  • convey concepts and visions to production and cast members
  • conduct effective negotiations with members of a creative team, e.g. writers, producers and directors of photography (DOP)
  • work closely with team members
  • high level of initiative, enterprise and creativity in the context of:
  • using and organising visual narrative elements in original and innovative ways
  • demonstrating originality and innovative approaches in the creative directing process
  • being open to a wide range of ideas and approaches to visualising scripts
  • generating original and fresh approaches to visualising scripts
  • determining how a story can be carried forward from one scene to the next and throughout an entire production
  • planning, organising and literacy skills in the context of:
  • analysing complex outlines/scripts to inform decision making and planning
  • interpreting script materials and formulating a cohesive visual representation of content
  • undertaking background research to enhance understanding and appreciation of production contexts
  • self-management and learning skills sufficient to:
  • show strong leadership qualities
  • locate and use resources to broaden own creative experience
  • experiment with narrative conventions and elements to develop and extend one's own directing practice
  • work under pressure to tight deadlines
  • technical skills sufficient to use standard word processing and spreadsheet applications in the context of preparing documentation in relation to the directing process.

Required knowledge 

  • appreciation and understanding of the key elements of screen productions, such as:
  • screen writing
  • screen acting
  • cinematography
  • editing
  • sound design
  • production design
  • formats and structures of performance outlines and scripts relevant to area of work, e.g. plays, concert outlines and corporate event outlines
  • OHS standards as they apply to directing screen productions
  • industry knowledge, including:
  • roles and responsibilities of personnel in the screen and media production industry
  • impact of technology on production and post-production operations
  • issues and challenges that arise in directing screen productions
  • conventions and practices of directing for the screen
  • broad historical and cultural context for types of productions relevant to area of work
  • techniques used to realise visual narrative from written narrative
  • visual story-telling techniques
  • documentation formats required for information extracted from performance outlines and scripts.

Evidence Guide


The Evidence Guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • script visualisations and associated shot plans that demonstrate:
  • well-developed understanding of visual story telling techniques
  • ability to generate original and fresh approaches to visualising scripts
  • ability to prepare performance outlines, scripts and shot plans in an appropriate format within agreed production deadlines
  • ability to analyse and interpret scripts to inform production planning
  • collaborative approach to work, including ability to work with writers and other members of a creative team.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • practical demonstration of skills through visualisation of at least two scripts to the stage where detailed shot plans have been prepared
  • access to suitable production opportunities for script development
  • availability of suitable script material and writers
  • access to appropriate learning and assessment support when required
  • the use of culturally appropriate processes, and techniques appropriate to the oracy, language and literacy capacity of the assessee and the work being performed.

Method of assessment 

The following assessment method is appropriate for this unit:

  • A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:
  • direct questioning combined with review of portfolios of evidence and third-party workplace reports of on-the-job performance
  • evaluation of a selection of shot plans and script documentation prepared by the candidate to determine candidate's understanding of the script development and directing process
  • written or oral questioning to test knowledge as listed in the required skills and knowledge section of this unit.

Guidance information for assessment 

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

  • CUFDRT602A Audition and select performers
  • CUFDRT604A Devise camera coverage
  • CUFDRT605A Collaborate with editors during post-production.

Range Statement


The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Creative personnel  may include:

  • • directors
  • • directors of photography
  • • eyewitnesses
  • • performers
  • • performers
  • • producers
  • • script editors
  • • writers
  • • other technical/specialist staff.

Research and reference materials  may include:

  • • actual events
  • • audience analysis in location for production
  • • characters
  • • environment
  • • historical and cultural context
  • • imagination and inspiration
  • • life experience
  • • locations
  • • newspapers and magazines
  • • notes
  • • paintings, photographs and sketches
  • • period
  • • review of corporate objectives
  • • review of other productions
  • • settings
  • • social analysis (current or historical).

Productions  may include:

  • • advertisements/commercials
  • • animations
  • • documentaries
  • • features
  • • interactive media products
  • • live-on stage performances
  • • promotions and presentations
  • • short films
  • • television series and serials
  • • training videos.

Dramatic elements  may include:

  • • action points
  • • beats or action change
  • • character:
  • • goals
  • • transformation
  • • sub-text
  • • objectives
  • • actions
  • • history
  • • turning points
  • • arcs
  • • climax
  • • conflict
  • • content
  • • environments within the story
  • • events
  • • first impressions
  • • interview questions
  • • location
  • • narration
  • • place
  • • plots
  • • production genre
  • • purpose
  • • resolution
  • • scenes
  • • set up
  • • story
  • • story turning point
  • • structure
  • • themes
  • • three act structures or other structures
  • • time
  • • style:
  • • method
  • • approach
  • • fashion
  • • mode
  • • way of presenting things
  • • manner of exhibiting characteristics.

Shot plan  issues may include:

  • • camera angle
  • • choice of lighting
  • • choice of the lens
  • • context of each scene within the whole narrative
  • • size of the shot
  • • special effects
  • • staging of the action
  • • whole narrative.

Technical parameters  may include:

  • • audio
  • • climate
  • • costume
  • • design issues
  • • general staging
  • • interior or exterior
  • • lighting
  • • location
  • • seasons
  • • set, props and scenic art
  • • time of day.

Scenic unit  may be defined as:

  • • acts
  • • dramatic sequences
  • • episodes
  • • scenes.

Production requirements  may include:

  • • art direction
  • • budget
  • • codes of practice
  • • confidentiality
  • • content
  • • contractual
  • • copyright
  • • deadlines
  • • duration
  • • intellectual property
  • • location
  • • production design
  • • purpose
  • • schedule
  • • sound design.

Documentation  may include:

  • • cast list
  • • cast, character, costume and props matrix
  • • doubling list
  • • extract list
  • • lighting plot
  • • notated score
  • • quick change list
  • • rehearsal notes
  • • rehearsal scene breakdown
  • • scene by scene principals and extras list
  • • script versions
  • • technical notes.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Media and entertainment production - directing

Competency field

Competency field 

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units