Originally Posted by JimHull
Re: loglines for Shawshank and Casablanca
I have an idea where you are headed with this question, but before I bite...
In my estimation, loglines are about as useful to an author as the concept of "raising the stakes." They're great for development executives and the back of DVD boxes, but they don't really give a writer the tools necessary to write a complete story. They are reductive and meaningless and should not be a part of the creative process as they don't delineate any structural features of a story.
Reductive in a good way. Loglines are crucial to my creative process, crucial as headlights on a car.
Protagonist, antagonist, goal and stakes - understanding a story at its base lets a writer see where other elements should build, branch and connect. Loglines aren't mandatory, but they're really
not meaningless endeavors.