McKee’s STORY gave me the illusion the logline is one of the last things you ever write. Why?
Because during development, things can change.
Of course McKee is right.
The creative process is unpredictable and you know where you start but you don’t know where you’ll end.
If you are assuming things can change SO much you will have a different logline, you may have a problem. You may not really have a story (yet).
The logline says exactly what your story is, in its purest and simplest form. It states what story you are trying to tell. If that changes, you are basically writing a different movie altogether.
One of the most exciting projects I have worked on had a problem in terms of its structure and POV. Numerous discussions with the writer lead to ever improving versions of synopsis and step outline. But we didn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel for quite a while.
One day the writer sent me a new synopsis and at the bottom of the page he had written a logline.
That day not only did we know we had a strong story, the development process suddenly found a clear direction.
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Karel Segers wrote his first produced screenplay at age 17. Today he is a story analyst with experience in acquisition, development and production. He has trained students worldwide, and worked with half a dozen Academy Award nominees. Karel speaks more European languages than you have fingers on your left hand, which he is still trying to find a use for in his hometown of Sydney, Australia. The languages, not the fingers.