As some of you know I was involved in The Metlab Scriptwriting Training Course in conjunction with London Metropolitan University last year. I had a lot of fun meeting peeps like Elinor, so I'm pleased to announce that I will be participating again!
It's a completely different affair this year too: it's 100% FREE. That's right, gratis. You read that right. And here's how it's gonna work.
Metlab is looking for four (perhaps five) people to come on board in order to develop a screenplay over the course of *roughly* 9 months [TBC]. You will meet with Metlab every 6-8 weeks about the progress of your screenplay and submit drafts at scheduled intervals.
This is not a traditional taught course: in other words, you'll get development notes and meetings on your script as opposed to tutorials on your personal progress, format issues etc.
This is a great opportunity and free - did I mention that? - though the university will take 2% if the script gets made. Considering agents take a much bigger whack, I think this is fab. Working on the basis that filmmaking is driven by commerce just as much as art, Metlab wants to see your script made - it gets paid that way! Pretty big motivation to get your project up and running, with no initial outlay for you. Nice one.
So the aim is for Metlab to be as close to "real" development as you can get - if you can't deliver then, just like in real life it's all over. If you can however, then here's the best bit: Metlab has a veritable stable of prodcos lined up who want first look at your screenplay.
So, what next?
1. You need a great idea - preferably a strong genre piece: horror, action, romance, comedy, adventure, thriller. No arty dramas please. (Crossed genres - comedy-horror/rom-com/action-adventure etc are fine)
2. It needs to be commercial and shot on a relatively low budget (£800,000 maximum) -but crucially it needs to look GOOD on this low budget. We don't want cheap-ass special effect stuff, even if it *might* get cult following later. So big CGI set pieces, stunt choreography, etc are OUT. Think Shaun of The Dead vs. Resident Evil, London to Brighton vs. Children of Men, that kind of thing.
3. You need to write a pitch document outlining the idea (2 pages maximum).
4. And you need to send it here: firstname.lastname@example.org. DO NOT SEND THEM TO ME, I don't participate in the selection process, any synopses for Metlab sent to Bang2write will be deleted unread, sorry.
Chip has already applied and you can see his post about it here. I know Elinor plans to re-apply too, so best of luck to her and any other previous Metlabbers: you're all welcome.
NB. There has been a small extension to the October 1st deadline: it is now October 17th 2007. Best of luck to everyone and look forward to working with you!