When Dan and Jeremy Shere met Joe Nussbaum at summer camp in Three Rivers 23 years ago, they had no idea it would become a Mickey Mouse kind of friendship.
The brothers, who grew up in Southfield and West Bloomfield Township, wrote and — billed as Shere — performed the song “In Deep” for “Prom,” the Nussbaum-directed film for the Walt Disney Co., which opens Friday, April 29. The song is also included in the film’s soundtrack, which came out Tuesday, April 26, and features other tracks by Neon Trees, Travie McCoy, Passion Pit, Allstar Weekend, Simple Plan and others.
“The first day I met (Nussbaum), he told me that he wanted to direct movies. That’s what he always wanted to do,” recalls Dan Shere, 36, a freelance screenwriter who lives in West Bloomfield with his wife and three young children and also teaches screenwriting at the University of Michigan. “I used to play music in camp. We’ve stayed friends ever since, and he always liked our music.”
Nussbaum contacted Shere last year to ask the duo to write something for “Prom,” a teen drama about the build-up to the big dance via intersecting stories set at the same high school. The Sheres read the script and were inspired by one particular character, crafting a gently melodic song that showcases the brothers’ vocal harmonies.
“It was sort of a drawn-out process,” Dan recalls. “We wrote a few different things and then kind of selected this one.”
“It’s a song about a guy pining for a girl from afar,” explains Jeremy, 40, a writer and radio producer who also teaches journalism at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., where he’s married and has twin sons. “It was one of those typical songwriting things where I tried a bunch of different things. At first nothing worked; they all sounded clichéd. So I decided to drop it and wait for a day and do some other stuff, walk my dog around the block. ... As soon as I stopped trying to write the song, it wrote itself in my mind.”
The brothers, whose parents still reside in West Bloomfield, have been playing together and writing songs since they were in high school; they’ve recorded one album together, “Field Day,” and opened for the Guster spin-off band the LeeVees at Adat Shalom Synagogue in Farmington Hills, where Dan’s wife, Rachel, is a rabbi. They both flew to Los Angeles last week to attend the “Prom” premiere and are happily enjoying the glow of being part of a major studio film.
“It’s hugely exciting, sort of beyond my wildest dreams,” Jeremy says. “The songwriting has always been sort of a side thing, more like a hobby than anything else, though we take it seriously. To have this happen and this opportunity is fantastic.”
Shere’s music is available at www.sheretunes.com.
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