This past semester, I had the opportunity to consult with Heymann Brothers Film, a film production studio based out of Tel Aviv. I have always thought that “in a perfect world” I would want to work in the media industry, but I never thought that this career path would be a realistic option. When I saw the email from Justin Gage, National Director of Consulting, that Tamid was looking to pair one consulting group with a company in the film industry, I suddenly saw an opportunity to take my first steps into this highly competitive field.
From my first conversation with film director and producer Barak Heymann, I knew we would be in for an unforgettable semester. Barak’s passion and excitement for Heymann Brothers’ latest, critically-acclaimed documentary Mr. Gaga, which tells the story of choreographer Ohad Naharin and the Gaga dance movement he founded, exuded through the phone. This excitement fueled me and the other members of my group to provide Heymann Brothers with the best research we could find.
I saw our entire project shift gears when we had the ability to meet Barak in Manhattan and see an advance screening of Mr. Gaga. Meeting Barak for coffee that morning made us understand how special of a company Heymann Brothers is. Barak explained to us the almost decade-long journey it took to film and create Mr. Gaga; he also nonchalantly mentioned how Mr. Gaga was nominated for the Israeli version of an Academy Award and he was missing the ceremony to be in New York. In that one instance of meeting Barak, his true character really showed; he even gifted us an Elite chocolate bar so that we could have a taste of Israel. Throughout the entire semester, Barak was invested in the quality of the work we were doing and ensuring we had a positive experience.
Quite honestly, my expectations going into the screening were not so high. I do not generally count documentaries about dance choreographers among my favorite types of films- I was expecting to fake a smile and give a lot of vague compliments about the movie. I’m happy to say that I was proven wrong. First off, Gaga is a dance style unlike any other I have seen before. Ohad Naharin created a new type of movement that was equally artistic and athletic, and that keeps you glued to the screen. Also, the movie was funny. You may not think a film about an Israeli film choreographer would have you laughing, but I found that very thing happening. And the other TAMID members who came laughed with me. The opportunity to see Mr. Gaga gave our group a better understanding about the film’s target market. Not only would dance lovers appreciate this film, but any film lover or person interested in Israeli culture could love Mr. Gaga. If anyone wants to know why this is true for themselves, everyone will have the chance to see it for themselves starting February 1st in New York.
As a project manager, possibly the biggest takeaway from this semester is the importance of the people you work with. Before the semester began, I had expectations of how the semester would go, but the hard work and dedication of the other group members created an experience that exceeded all of my expectations. No matter how great your “client” is, the people you work with really dictate the experiences you will have. If all the members of a group work well together, the work you produce will be better. The research our consulting team gathered this semester demonstrates this; the work we produced ultimately got us included in the credits of Mr. Gaga. How often does a college student get the opportunity to seeing their work on a movie screen in New York? Between the enthusiasm of Heymann Brothers, the impressive Mr. Gaga, and my outstanding group members, this semester far exceeded any and all of my expectations.
Jeffrey Younger is the Director of Consulting of the TAMID at Queens College Chapter