Dunwoody found itself the target of a parody Sunday night.
A group of friends, who run a production site called Dormtainment.com, released a video called ‘Straight Outta Dunwoody,’ which pokes fun at life in the north Atlanta city.
The six members of Dormtainment walk around a Dunwoody apartment complex and a nearby shopping center, with sweaters draped around their shoulders, rapping, in a nod to NWA’s ‘Straight Outta Compton,’ about life in one of Atlanta’s wealthiest suburbs.
“It was lot more positive than negative,” said Mike Anthony, 23, a member of the group. “Our thing was actually being proud of living here. If you live in a good community, don’t be ashamed of it.”
Since it appeared on YouTube at 7 p.m. Sunday, the video has already been viewed more than 60,000 times.
Anthony and five others formed Dormtainment in early 2009. Though most of them are working full-time in other gigs, the group has a weekly standard of releasing a new video out each Sunday night at 7 p.m. The group puts out mostly comedy sketch videos, but there are also some music videos.
The group also does live performances that include sketch comedy and music; they’re heading to the University of Georgia for their next show.
The group formed through Cameron Miller, 23, who moved up to Atlanta from Miami to go to the Art Institute of Atlanta. The group includes three of Miller’s classmates from Atlanta, as well as his brother Chaz Miller, 29 and Anthony, who both moved up from Miami.
“All of us have entrepreneurial spirits, but we never thought we are going to do a sketch comedy group and put that out,” Cameron Miller said. “We wanted to do something where we could be our own bosses.”
They began putting out videos and slowly built a strong following. Their YouTube channel has almost 36,000 subscribers and their videos have more than 3.3 million combined views. Their previous YouTube channel had almost 13 million views, Anthony said.
The group takes on many forms of comedy, including slapstick, parodies and songs, Chaz Miller said.
The group’s other videos have mocked the television show ‘Basketball Wives’ (they did a version called Basketball Husbands about the husbands of WNBA players) and made a new game (Penny pong is a ping-pong type game that can be played anywhere). Those videos have gotten 85,000 and 200,000 hits respectively.
Anthony said the group has had to learn the business side of building a site as Dormtainment.com’s popularity has grown.
“It’s been a struggle to try to build it from ground up,” Anthony said, but it has been worth it.
Now they are working on a television pilot, Anthony said. Their hope is to eventually get into television and movies.
“It doesn’t even feel like work. It’s just something we love to do,” Cameron Miller said.
Monday, ‘Straight Outta Dunwoody’ showed signs of being one of their most popular videos ever, getting more than 25,000 by the day’s end.
The idea spawned from a move to Dunwoody earlier this year.
“The first day here, I bought a flat screen, so I needed certain drill bits to put the flat screen up,” Anthony said. “We didn’t have them and I didn’t want to go to Home Depot, so I was like just ask the neighbor.”
He went next door and knocked.
“I wasn’t quite sure how he would react. Where we come from neighbors are like ‘Hey’ and that’s it,” Anthony said. “So I knocked on his door and he was like ‘Oh you need a drill bit? Sure. Do you want the drill too?’ He even offered to do it for me. I was like ‘wow.”
Over the next few months, Anthony and his roommates noticed more friendly neighbors, the kids playing in the streets and the soccer moms.
“We thought, wouldn’t it be funny if we did a hardcore rap song about how nice something is, especially Dunwoody?” he said. “We did it and we didn’t know there was going to be this much buzz around it.”
Monday, Anthony decided to call city hall and let them know about the video. He was surprised about the reaction.
“‘Hi, my name is Michael, I’m from a college entertainment group called Dormtainment, and we...’ ‘We know,’ she cut me off before I was finished.
She said, ‘We saw it and are all in here watching it right now. One of the police officers actually brought it to us,’” Anthony said. “I said, ‘Did you like it? Do you guys want to give us the key to the city?’ She said, ‘I wouldn’t go that far, but yeah, we all liked it.’”