(dance break)
October 2, 2013 6:59 AM   Subscribe

Marina V. Shifrin, a news clip producer, was frustrated with her job. So she made a video, and using the power of interpretive dance, she sent her boss a message. It is awesome. [via]
posted by quin (63 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Her company responds.

I agree with reddit. The whole thing stinks of playing for viral clicks.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:03 AM on October 2, 2013 [7 favorites]


I wonder about the viral thing, too. If she worked creating video content for the web she must be very self-aware about how this will have been received on the web and what it can do for her.

Can't remember the link and not sure whether to post it anyway, but she's got a personal website touting her writing and standup comedy. It's that that got me cynical about the whole thing.

But it is a good video.
posted by dowcrag at 7:06 AM on October 2, 2013


Her boss only cares about business objectives! What a jerk, right?
posted by j03 at 7:07 AM on October 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


My criticism of the video is she decries making videos without content only intending to get clicks, then makes a video without content intending only to get clicks. Also, "(dance break)"? The whole thing was a dance break.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:08 AM on October 2, 2013 [12 favorites]


Yea I didn't think the content of the viral video was like super great or anything. She's like, I want to make a video with content, y'all, and then dances around an empty godawful bright office late at night out of frustration which, everyone in media has done at some point or another.
posted by sweetkid at 7:13 AM on October 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


Kids. No matter how satisfying it might seem saying "I quit" and turning out the lights is no way to leave a job. Give proper written notice and for God's sake don't dance out the door unless it is with a winning lottery ticket in your hand.
posted by three blind mice at 7:17 AM on October 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


She apparently quit this job:
I am the International Content Editor for this awesomely whacky company called Next Media Animation. My job entails finding breaking stories that can become viral videos and turning them into short scripts to be animated in Taiwan. Sound confusing? Here is a sample of my work.
posted by pracowity at 7:18 AM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Everything else aside, I want the last 30 seconds of this dance with I QUIT written over it in gif form ASAP because of business reasons.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:21 AM on October 2, 2013 [11 favorites]


Give proper written notice...

Why? Employers don't give workers that courtesy. They just cut you loose without notice, and even have you make arrangements to come back on a weekend to get your personal stuff. Fuck that. Goose/gander, frankly.

I agree making a dance video is silly, though.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:21 AM on October 2, 2013 [10 favorites]


I've worked in media, and I've quit jobs out of frustration, so I get it, but I also know it's not anything to be proud of. And it's certainly not something you make a goddamn video about and announce to the entire world. But, I'm in my thirties, and I still remember when people didn't broadcast every detail of their boring lives.
posted by dortmunder at 7:21 AM on October 2, 2013 [9 favorites]


that is not interpretive dance

that is just bopping around
posted by ook at 7:27 AM on October 2, 2013 [19 favorites]


We live in such a mediocre culture. It's amazing. I was watching an interview with Woody Allen from 1999 when his film Celebrity came out; wow, that film was ahead of its time. If he thought Americas problem in '99 was that everyone is a celebrity for no reason, he must want to shoot himself now. Oh and the video is down anyway because she chose copyrighted music... Good one!
posted by ReeMonster at 7:33 AM on October 2, 2013


> Why? Employers don't give workers that courtesy.

When there's a power imbalance, the consequences of bucking the system are also disproportionate. So make sure your next employer doesn't mind that you have a history of advertising your issues with your employers in bright lights for God and the neighbors to see.
posted by ardgedee at 7:33 AM on October 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


Video's already yanked. Copyright claims.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:35 AM on October 2, 2013


That took a while. It was on Inside Edition last night.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:36 AM on October 2, 2013


Er wait. Weird. Now it works.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:36 AM on October 2, 2013


Yeah, still there for me too.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:36 AM on October 2, 2013


I don't get it. I love a viral video as much as the next person, but neither the original nor the response was amusing or cute or interesting. She didn't do anything fantastically rebellious, or dish dirt, or anything. She just danced around the office a little -- we've all done that.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:39 AM on October 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


But, I'm in my thirties, and I still remember when people didn't broadcast every detail of their boring lives.

Yea people would just post whatever was going on in their lives in their away message on AIM. The first status updates.
posted by sweetkid at 7:39 AM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


sweetkid, you used to stand out on the roof waving semaphore flags which were relayed by a series of other folks on other rooves, and eventually the whole village would get the message that 'Goody Williams art an harlot,' or what have you.
posted by Mister_A at 7:47 AM on October 2, 2013 [9 favorites]


> ...their away message on AIM. The first status updates.

Allow me to introduce you to .plan, from 1971 (or 1977, depending on how you count).
posted by ardgedee at 7:57 AM on October 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


If she created it in order to get clicks, she did a good job. She also sent a letter of resignation. There arre some companies where this would get her not-hired, and some where it will get her at least an interview, so I'd say it's working.
posted by theora55 at 8:00 AM on October 2, 2013


that is not interpretive dance

that is just bopping around


Yeah? Well, that's just, like, your interpretation, man.
posted by Floydd at 8:01 AM on October 2, 2013 [7 favorites]


Some basic insight into Next Media Animation:

This is a branch of a larger media company that produces 3D animated videos about current events. They have a pretty standardized system of production that allows a team of animators to produce funny videos about the news relatively quickly. However, current-event based comedy is extremely time sensitive so it is never really quickly enough. They are on a "Daily Show" type schedule if you are familiar with that, meaning that if something juicy is happening they need to be on top of it right away so the animators can get it done while the topic is still fresh. The company hires a team of people, especially young artsy writer types, to constantly monitor the news, translate things if language is an issue, write up summaries of the events, and create ideas for videos. Because news is 24/7 and coverage is global, there are some people who work night shift hours like the person in the video.
posted by Winnemac at 8:02 AM on October 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Mister_A :
- Arms to left and right.
- Arms to left and Top Left
- Arms to left and Top Left
- One arm to the right.
- Arms to left and bottom right.
posted by zoo at 8:04 AM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


She seems to think she was working in journalism, but really, she was in entertainment. Where lunch breaks are either union-mandated or non-existent. Her video could have been a lot better.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:08 AM on October 2, 2013



Allow me to introduce you to .plan, from 1971 (or 1977, depending on how you count).


Yes just when you think you're old you realize you're still a child with the bippity bop and the Jello pudding pops.
posted by sweetkid at 8:08 AM on October 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


She is a friend of a friend so I'm hesitant to say anything bad about her. But I will say that there are reasons that most people do not quit their jobs that way.
posted by kat518 at 8:10 AM on October 2, 2013


You got your vaguebooking in my MeFi!
posted by ook at 8:11 AM on October 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


The whole thing stinks of playing for viral clicks.

Is this the same as making something people will like and want to share? Because, like, actors, writers, directors, musicians, composers, painters and sculptors have been doing that for years.
posted by Mental Wimp at 8:26 AM on October 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is not awesome, it is sophomoric and juvenile. It's not like she was working at Foxconn.
posted by grumpybear69 at 8:31 AM on October 2, 2013


I'm not in new media...perhaps a bit of a geezer...but I don't know what 'focus on content' means versus 'focus on views' and yes I know what the words mean.
posted by sfts2 at 8:31 AM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is this the same as making something people will like and want to share?

To me, it seems a lot more "look at MEEEEEE" than "This is a cool thing." But she works in an industry where the ability to get a lot of attention matters. It doesn't matter what the content is, it just matters that it gets seen.

I am also annoyed by the fact that it's clearly not interpretive dance.
posted by troika at 8:41 AM on October 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Basically, she thought she was doing Important Work but it turns out she was just fishing for views. So she thought she'd be doing, I dunno, Journalism and wound up doing Buzzfeed "10 Gifs That Explain Why Congress Is A Clusterfuck".
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 8:42 AM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


People are overlooking that Next Media Animation is awesome and hilarious and I don't even care.

However this person does not understand the meaning of the words "interpretive dance" in any demonstrable way.
posted by elizardbits at 8:54 AM on October 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wow, I was expecting this to be like, clever, or really well executed or something. All I'm seeing is a vague flameout with some expressionless normal dance-floor dancing. Sorry to be a grump, I just don't understand what's funny or "awesome" about it.
posted by en forme de poire at 8:56 AM on October 2, 2013


This is such a weird non sequitur of a video. Nothing has anything to do with anything else. Like a Venn diagram except "dancing," "quitting" and "focusing on content over views" are all in their separate non-overlapping circles.
posted by HotToddy at 9:13 AM on October 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


The way it's slapped together is a testament to her anger, imo. This wasn't something she spent weeks on. She's in the same outfit. She'd had enough. It was her fuck you moment. It wasn't "look at me!" she was so pissed she wanted to shout from the rooftops her anger.

The company response was pretty lame, imo, and a sad and corporate way to capitalize on the success of her video.

Earlier this week I saw a amateur comic strip someone made after feeling really insulted by a horrible article*. It had the same kind of slap-dash approach as this, and that, too, helped me to feel the author's anger. Everyone knows what it's like when you're angry and grace is the last thing on your mind. It adds to the art.

*I won't link it here because it's derail-bait. Memail me if you feel like getting pissed off too!
posted by frecklefaerie at 9:24 AM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


She's no whatever his name is that popped a beer and blew the chute.
posted by Mister_A at 9:28 AM on October 2, 2013 [8 favorites]


I just quit my job, but I went with two weeks' notice and a resignation letter rather than a video of me dancing. I also cannot dance as well as she can, so it works out.
posted by RainyJay at 9:43 AM on October 2, 2013


Fuck I would have killed for a job like that at her age.
posted by fingerbang at 9:47 AM on October 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


I would have been so much cooler if it were animated like the videos that come out of that shop.

As it is, it was mildly amusing, but childish.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:48 AM on October 2, 2013


Actually to add to my earlier comment:

dances around an empty godawful bright office late at night out of frustration which, everyone in media has done at some point or another.


Like so.
posted by sweetkid at 9:55 AM on October 2, 2013


The content is she is so happy to quit her job that she's dancing about it. That's perfectly fine content for a video, and obviously it has struck a chord with people, and if she intended it for other purposes, I don't care, because so what.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:42 AM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


She's no whatever his name is that popped a beer and blew the chute.

Not everybody can be an American hero like Steven Slater.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:43 AM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


She has sacrificed her relationships, time and energy for her job for almost two years?!?!? THE HORROR!!!!!
posted by The World Famous at 10:56 AM on October 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Now get back to work, slaves!
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:00 AM on October 2, 2013


She's no whatever his name is that popped a beer and blew the chute.

Not everybody can be an American hero like Steven Slater.


You forgot the highlight of that tale wherein the authorities came to apprehend him at home and he came to the door in en deshabille all "sorry but I am in the middle of doing A Sex with my gentleman friend, please return later!"
posted by elizardbits at 11:16 AM on October 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


Taken at face value, the whole thing was kind of cute. It's fun to see how the young people dance these days. Ima gonna go dance in my kitchen now.
posted by eggkeeper at 11:23 AM on October 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


"I quit my job!"

"Why?"

"They told me to MAKE YOUTUBE VIDEOS. Can you believe that shit? Talk about oppressive!"

Crickets.
posted by Brocktoon at 12:31 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Current count: 9 million views for the original, 1 million for the response. Does this mean she wins? Well, if you base everything on page views... :)
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:35 PM on October 2, 2013


You forgot the highlight of that tale wherein the authorities came to apprehend him at home and he came to the door in en deshabille all "sorry but I am in the middle of doing A Sex with my gentleman friend, please return later!"

Oh, I'll never forget that fact.

In a very small way, in an earlier incarnation on MetaFilter, I am linked to Steven Slater forever.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:08 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


For me, it's a "fuck you" moment without enough "fuck you." I mean, I don't think her bosses are heartbroken that she revealed that they mostly want lots of pageviews as opposed to art, given what they do, and they probably aren't going to have a terribly hard time replacing her. So I'm not really sure how taping herself dancing around is supposed to somehow give the what-for (or even a stern talking-to) to her bosses. I'm not bothered by it or anything, but given the attention it had received by the time I looked at it, I expected something a lot more ... I don't know, daring or attention-worthy or something. I mean, you could quit your job anywhere by taping yourself dancing, and dancing around is fun, but you can kind of tell that the bosses weren't particularly perturbed by it since they made their own version, which called more attention to it.

It's kind of like sticking it to the man by shaking the man's hand and politely leaving. It's perfectly fine behavior, but I wouldn't feel obligated to capture it on film.

Also, I admit to being one of the pedants who has trouble with the fact that she doesn't seem to know what a dance break is.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 1:23 PM on October 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Fuck I would have killed for a job like that at her age.

Lots of jobs that some people would kill for, would make other people want to die. The problem is there's no foolproof system for matching everyone to the correct job immediately (or ever).

Giving two weeks' notice often results in being berated and immediately escorted from the premises by security anyway.
posted by like_a_friend at 1:34 PM on October 2, 2013


Plus, Ms. The International Content Editor, you spelled "wacky" wrong in your job description.
posted by thinkpiece at 1:53 PM on October 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


That's the international spelling.
posted by The World Famous at 3:20 PM on October 2, 2013


Eenternaationale!
posted by pracowity at 3:26 PM on October 2, 2013


"look at MEEEEEE" than "This is a cool thing."
No, it said "I quit". Everything else is projection.

Fuck I would have killed for a job like that at her age.

I wouldn't. If they were producing some truly interesting or original content that might be valid. They skimmed current news to be cheaply animated in Taiwan, hoping its vaguely interesting enough to get a link on college humor or Reddit for the 'so bad its good' factor. And I doubt it paid very well. That seems soul sucking to me.

This is the link-bait merger of fark and the dancing baby from ally mcbeal. I'd rather scrap dog shit off the internets shoe for eBaums World.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 4:02 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Her video apparently has folks in Taiwan talking about excessively demanding bosses, which is a great positive in my book.

"She has sacrificed her relationships, time and energy for her job for almost two years?!?!? THE HORROR!!!!!"

And seriously, why are we making fun of her for protesting a system that treats people like crap? Expecting to be ground into dust is bad enough; snarking at people who expect otherwise just makes things worse. More power to her. I hope more people start demanding to be treated well at work.
posted by jiawen at 6:05 PM on October 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


That's not what I'm making fun of her for.
posted by The World Famous at 6:43 PM on October 2, 2013


Okay then...?
posted by jiawen at 6:57 PM on October 2, 2013


Everything else aside, I want the last 30 seconds of this dance with I QUIT written over it in gif form
Here you go - I QUIT
posted by unliteral at 8:56 PM on October 3, 2013


The baristas at Starbucks are going to love this story when she tells it the first time to them.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 3:06 PM on October 5, 2013


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