FFF “The Young Composers Challenge”


Three Very Young, Very Talented Composers


3:45pm Lisa is Bouncing Off the Walls
Keeping my promise from Day 1 to Lisa, I decide see her film, “The Young Composers Challenge.”  I run into Lisa just before the start of the film.  She’s very nervous.  She knows they’ll be a Q & A afterwards.  I shout over to her that she doesn’t have to worry, I’ll be sure to take down her every word.  The tension breaks a little.  When I go into the theatre, I decide to sit in the front on the edge by the stage so I can watch the audience and movie at the same time. The program begins with a short.  

“Yamasong” a novice filmmaker experimenting with mixed media, primarily puppetry, creates some stunning visuals in this choppy but passionate work of art.  

“The Young Composers Challenge” exciting, local documentary that chronicles five high school teens who submit a full orchestral score to a music competition where the winning selection will be played by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.  

By now I honestly can’t tell if this feature documentary is too long or I am too exhausted.  For only her second movie, Lisa has done a competent job, producing a consistent work that tells a compelling story.  The experience is enhanced by the presence of three of the five principle musicians in the audience.  I enjoy my vantage point where I can occasionally glance at Lisa and the audience and watch them enjoy the movie.  

As Lisa Fields Q & A Questions Two of the Young Composers Can be Seen in the Background


During the Q & A afterwards, I ask for the three young musicians to speak of their experience watching this documentary that features them.  One of them is quick to jump on stage.  He’s not shy.  He admits that he is arrogant and loved seeing himself on the screen.  The other two sit quietly and are not invited to the stage.  I wonder how this experience is for them.  Perhaps they’ll read this blog and leave a comment.  

I run into Lisa afterwards and she asked me how it went.  “How do you think it went?”, I respond.  “I thought it was good!”, she replies.  “That’s all that counts,” I tell her, “and if you want to know what I think, you’ll have to read my blog!”, I laugh and she joins in.  She promises read it and leave a comment, so be on the lookout for that.  

In the meantime I draw together the three young composers for a photo.  I wish I had the time to get their names and bios, but I have committed to quick updates for the rest of the festival.  I hand the youngsters my business card and ask them to take a moment to leave a comment.  Perhaps they will and I hope they take the time to tell us a little about themselves.

11 Responses to “FFF “The Young Composers Challenge””

  1. Mark Andy Niedermann Says:

    I’m the guy on the left. I said I would leave a comment when you handed me the card, and I’m a man of my word. And, as you say in the article, I am arrogant, so I would be HAPPY to tell a bit about myself.

    For starters, the thing I find most interesting about my current life is animating and composing music for nranimation.com. That’s the only thing in my life that I am certain will remain in my future. Today’s event has become a better opportunity than I ever expected, as it seems James Nethery (the “N” in nranimation.com) and I will be submitting our stuff to Film Slam at the Enzian in the future.

    I’m good at math, I love music, I’m in school for engineering, and I want to start pursuing animation as a career. If you want to know more, please see the documentary, and while I’m plugging, please support the young composer’s challenge.

    The other composers you spoke to were Catie Weddle, and Matthew Oliver. Due to this opportunity, I have made some great friendships with these other young composers.

    Thank you for reading.

    • LanceAround Says:

      Andy, thank you for following through on your promise to leave me a comment. Also, thanks for identifying your friends in the photo. You guys are terrific! I hope you enjoyed the reception you got at the movie last night. Are any of you planning on attending the next showing of the movie on Sunday the 18th 1pm at the Regal Cinema? LanceAround

      • Mark Andy Niedermann Says:

        No problem! And thanks. The reception was a lot of fun, although I wish I knew more about where I can see myself on the interwebs lately, haha. I might be at the next showing but I’m not sure yet, a bunch of students from my Music Literature class should be going, though. I’m doing a presentation on the documentary the following day, so I’m asking that they go see it beforehand. I’ll ask Catie to write a reply, maybe she’s going.

  2. Lisa Mills Says:

    Lance, I’m so glad you came to see the movie. I enjoyed your post very much and have placed a link on the Young Composers Challenge Facebook page so all the movie fans can read it! Thank you for your coverage of our homegrown movie and the homegrown amazing composers that it features. I subscribe to a blog written by a very nice fellow I met at a documentary screening in NYC. It’s called “Unpaid Film Critic.” I think you’d like it! Best wishes, Lisa

    • LanceAround Says:

      Hi Lisa: I’m glad you liked my post and thank you for taking the time to write a comment. After I get finished with the FFF I will check out your friend’s blog. Doing reviews for the Enzian and FFF films is only a tiny piece of my blog. It’s main mission to spread the word about all the fantastic, wonderful, quirky and off-the-beaten-path things there are to do in this wacky place we call home–and the Enzian is certainly one of my personal favorites. I hope you’ll come back to my blog from time to time and join in the conversation. It was a special treat to see you again tonight. Good luck with your next screening. LanceAround

  3. Lisa Mills Says:

    Lance, my friend Dave just emailed me a really nice high-resolution photo of you writing while talking to me. Should I email it to you? I don’t know how to upload it to your blog.

    • LanceAround Says:

      Hi Lisa: I’m so glad you didn’t upload the photo to the blog–I have a hard enough time attracting readers! Actually, Dave was kind enough to email the photo to me as well. Many thanks! LanceAround

  4. Nina Streich Says:

    Congratulations to Lisa on the film! I loved the Q&A after the film, too. It was wonderful to see such a good turnout from the subjects of the film and their obvious affection for Lisa. That’s so important for a documentarian who is following people for a period of time and is a testament to Lisa’s good work.

    We showed her first feature (Dear Mr. Gore) at the Global Peace Film Festival last year. Lance, you’ll have to come this year and blog about it! We exchanged cards so I’ll be in touch 🙂

    • LanceAround Says:

      Hi Nina: I love the work you are doing with the Global Peace Film Festival and look forward to attending again this year. Be sure to drop us a comment before the event so I can do a blog post about it. It was good seeing you at the FFF. LanceAround

  5. Catherine Weddle Says:

    Hello! My name is Catie Weddle. I am studying harp performance, economics, and finance at the University of Central Florida.

    It was an honor to be a part of Dr. Mills’ film. She did a wonderful job with the entire work. I’m actually kind of a private person, and I’m not very comfortable watching myself on screen. However, Dr. Mills made the filming process very enjoyable, and it was great to work with her.

    Congratulations, Dr. Mills!!

    • LanceAround Says:

      Hi Catie: Thanks for joining the conversation. I thought you were fantastic. I loved listening to you play the harp during the movie. Best of luck in your studies. You have a great future ahead of you. LanceAround

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