Chrysler spoof leads to spotlight

Anthony DeCuir of Wyandotte worked on many films, both behind and in front of the camera, before creating a spoof of the “Imported from Detroit,” commercial, which has received more than 13,000 hits on Youtube since Feb. 9.

Photos courtesy of Anthony DeCuir

Matt Perry hosts the cable access show “Wyandotte Update,” produced by Anthony DeCuir, who has gained notoriety recently with his take on a popular Chrysler commercial.

Sunday Times Newspapers

WYANDOTTE — He’s no Hitchcock or Coppola, and he’s certainly no one’s Spielberg.

But with a spoof of a popular commercial, a local videographer has become an overnight Internet sensation.

Anthony DeCuir’s video spoof of Chrysler’s “Imported from Detroit,” commercial, “Imported from Wyandotte,” has received more than 13,000 hits on Youtube since he added it Feb. 9.

“I didn’t make it for the masses,” he said. “I just thought it would be a fun little thing to do.”

After seeing the Chrysler commercial, which aired during the Super Bowl and featured Detroit monuments like the Joe Louis fist statue and a cameo from rapper Eminem, DeCuir set out to create his own to poke a little fun at the city where he has lived for the past four years.

He enlisted the help of Matt Perry, who stars on the cable-access show DeCuir produces called “Wyandotte Update,” and the two drove around to film Wyandotte landmarks, like the bull statue on Biddle Avenue. DeCuir name checked other Downriver communities like Trenton, Woodhaven and Grosse Ile — in lieu of “The Windy City” and the “Emerald City” used in the commercial — and instead of Eminem, DeCuir used Mayor Joseph Peterson to deliver the commercial’s tag line, “This is Wyandotte, and this is what we do.”

A few days later, DeCuir posted the completed video on his Facebook page. More than 400 people viewed it the first day.

“Then it just kind of went ballistic,” DeCuir said.

Before long, the video was being shown at a Wyandotte City Council meeting, and a feature on DeCuir was airing on WDIV-TV 4 news.

Though DeCuir said he was thrilled with the reactions he received from his parody, it was not his first brush with fame. Born Downriver, DeCuir’s family moved to southern California when he was a teen.

After a short stint in the Navy, he fell into acting when he got a few lines in the film “Guilty by Suspicion,” starring Robert DeNiro, which earned DeCuir a Screen Actors Guild card. Other extra roles followed, but DeCuir soon switched his attention to the other side of the camera, working as a production assistant on films including “Swordfish,” and “Training Day.”

“I love the skill that goes into making a movie,” DeCuir said. “When you’re talking about a movie like “Swordfish” or “Training Day,” the logistics to make a movie is like taking 120 people camping. All the things you have to think about …”

Though DeCuir loved working in the film industry, he said when his mother died in the late 1990s, he knew it was time for a change. He moved back to Michigan and started a photography business for weddings and other functions. He also started working on the cable access show that runs on the city’s public access Channel 15.

DeCuir said he hopes to do more projects like “Imported from Wyandotte” in the future, though he never expected his most recent effort to bring him so much notoriety.

“I just got a wild idea and ran with it,” he said.