Not too long ago, I had a business lunch with a man named Michael LaVoie at Grand Central Station in New York City. Michael has signed on to be the director of photography for "Bagged and Boarded," and if you check out the demo on his web site, you'll see that he's going to help turn in a quality project for us.
Michael and I were talking about the script and brainstorming on what could be done to make it a little different. In a sea of comedies featuring a bunch of white dudes talking, we wanted this project to stand out a little more. I mentioned that not a single role in the script is ethnically specific, and we can do anything with that. Then Michael dropped a helluva idea on me. He said, what if you swap the parts of Cole and Alexis. If you remember, the original draft starred Cole, with appearances by his ex-girlfriend Alexis. But Micahel went on to say that when I switch the roles, don't change anything else. Have a female lead that goes completely against type. I kind of laughed at the idea but acknowledged how bold it was.
Then, on the train ride home, it stewed in my brain for a little. It was bold. And bold was what I needed. With each stop I passed, I loved the idea more and more. Sure, I'd have to make some plot-related adjustments, but it could work. Why not?
The original Cole was somewhat of a "Mickey Mouse" character. He was a little plain, and his supporting characters (Goofy and Donald) were carrying the story. By making Cole a girl, the character became anything but plain. She was almost iconic. Plus, what fanboy isn't going to love the idea of a cute gal hanging out at a comic book store? Suddenly, my movie hit a new level of originality that excited me greatly.
It was quite a process changing Cole to Cola (short for "Nicola," which I find to be a pretty name). I adjusted a few jokes, tweaked the story a little, and had fun with the character (but barely touched her dialogue).
After months of talk, Michael and I officially joined forces on this project (signed the contract) today. I can tell he's going to be a great force for this film, and I'm glad to have him on.