Neon Trees drummer Elaine Bradley is the face of the new ad campaign for Farmington's Lagoon Amusement Park.

Entitled "Be Somebody's Rockstar," the campaign seeks to equally pay homage to its past and present generations of visitors.

"She's always been very open, funny, and easy to work with so she seemed like a natural fit, especially since she is truly a rock-star mom," said Matt Eastin, the commercial's director.

"Matt is a highly regarded music video and commercial director and had worked with Neon Trees before, as well as Joshua James and Imagine Dragons, to name just a few, and called (Bradley) up to see if she would be interested in playing the mother character," said Lagoon advertising manager Adam Leishman.

Bradley, a Logan native, grew up frequenting Lagoon and continues tradition with her 1-year-old son, whose character (played by actor Koleman) also stars in the commercial.

"I remember the night I called Elaine to ask if she'd be willing to do the commercial," said Eastin, who has known Bradley for years.

"Neon Trees had toured the world and played in Times Square on New Years, earlier that year, so I thought getting her would be a stretch. In fact, I thought getting her on the phone would be a stretch. When she answered, though, and I started telling her about the commercial, she instantly said 'Yes, I wanna do it.'" 

The concept came from the advertising team at Struck, and a company Lagoon used for their 2013 television campaign. However, the idea was originally created by Struck's art director, Nathan Wigglesworth, who has since moved on to a prestigious agency in New York and had one of his commercials run in the 2014 Super Bowl.

"The process began in July of 2013 and we shot the spot over the course of three days in September," Leishman said. "We worked on the spot over the winter months and finished it early this year."

Pre-production began at the end of August last year, with initial wardrobe meetings and location scouts.

"On our first scout of the park, we realized that the current "Hi Striker" (Test Your Strength) attraction was in a difficult location in the park for the pyrotechnics, so we realized that we'd need to construct a temporary one for our finale scene," said director and editor Matt Eastin. "It seemed logical to put it in front of the loops on the Colossus, because there was enough space and it made for a more dramatic shot."

For various purposes, film production began in mid-September.

"We needed a window at the park where we could close it down for a couple of days to shoot, without worrying too much about weather and Halloween decorations for Frightmares," Eastin said. "Lucky for us, (Bradley) was in Utah during our production days. The window couldn't have been more perfect. I think everyone was pretty flattered that she was so easy to work with on this."

In comparison, Eastin said working with Bradley was different this time because she was acting.

"Every other time I've shot with Elaine, I wasn't giving direction, I was capturing real moments of her drumming, etc. She's a natural, though. I'd recommend using her for other acting jobs."

And it certainly wasn't all work. In fact, Bradley insisted she and the film crew ride the "Fire Dragon" a.k.a. "Colossus" before wrapping up the shoot, Eastin said.

"I love roller coasters. So for me, the most fun was riding "Wicked" over and over during the roller coaster scene. I think we went 4 times in a row before taking a break. Lucky for us, Elaine loves coasters too," Eastin said.

"If I remember correctly, we blew up five different electric guitars; I honestly had fun the whole time," Eastin said. "The only part that was even remotely difficult was the underwater shot, because it wasn't particularly warm that day and we did a lot of takes. Elaine and Koleman (her pretend son) were both shaking by our last take; they were both good sports about it."

Once the commercial was shot, the film crew instantly began working on getting a Neon Trees song for the spot, especially since rumor had it that the band was releasing a new album.

"We did our final color session in Seattle and our final voice over in Salt Lake City," Eastin said.

Production carried to April. The television commercial first aired early May.

"The title was part of the pitch from Nathan and the ad team at Struck," Leishman said.

Bradley entered the (alternative rock) band in 2006, a year after it became established. Currently, Bradley and her other three bandmates are touring their third album "Pop Psychology," released April 22.

Neon Trees plans to make a play on June 16 at The Complex, 536 W. 100 South, Salt Lake City.

"It was really pretty perfect timing," Eastin said. "Elaine helped make it all happen."

** Both Elaine Bradley and Nathan Wigglesworth where contacted but did not respond.

Contact reporter Morgan Briesmaster at 801-625-4268 or mbriesmaster@standard.net. Follow her on Twitter at @SE_mbriesmaster.

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