London's Met Film School is promising a serious business edge to a scheme helping screenwriters develop theirprojects.

The school will take first drafts from 10 writers with some experienceand take them through the reality of high-level film development.

That process starts by paying candidates a competitive rateand allowing them to retain the rights to their work.

Every candidate will be taken through an intensive six months including placements with leading film companies - with five going on to a second six months.

BBC Films, Fox and The Weinstein Company are amongsupporters with a number ofcompaniesoffering placements, practical advice and support.

'Writers often don't understand enough about the commercial side of the business,' says Met Film School director Jonny Persey 'But they can probably only understand it when they see it.'

The serious edge means that the course is looking for those with some experience of writing: 'This course if for people who have already proven that they have a certain level of talent,' says Persey.

At the end of the process, candidates will have the option to sell on the rights to their work.

What's in it for the school is obviously the kudos that comes with success. But the long-term relationships with the successful candidates is also an integral part of the deal, says Persey.

'Our agenda is to support writers and we hope that support will build relationships with writers.

The Met Film Schooltakes the hands-on business element seriously. It is involved in production itself as well as courses.

The project is offered in association with Skillset, the UK Film Council, Ealing Studios, Slingshot, APT and PAL.

The course begins in June with phase two starting in December. Applicants need to send their treatments by March 10 to

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