We're now one round away from discovering the winner of CCC 2017, so our judges payed attention to every detail: the stakes here were high!
Let's first take a look and what all the judges have to say about each video:
Yang: Delivers proficiency with a casual demeanor. He makes his material look easy. Would have liked to see some more ambitious ideas but he's got great energy and superior skill with handling cards.
Edgar: Very strong presentation, creative mechanics and good variety. Some of the material definitely could have been cleaner! The backhand square thing was great.
James: Well designed ideas, James is a thorough creator. Loved the second move! More time could have been spent on presentation and the timeline of the video. The cardestroy thing went on for a little too long and the last fan split wasn't a great note to end on.
James: HOLY MOLY. Execution is AMAZING, moves are creative, soundtrack is dope, everything is on point. Move at 11 seconds - LOVE! This next part is PURELY subjective. I’m NOT claiming to state facts here but this is my observation from doing cardistry for nearly 17 years now. Moves need to have a larger footprint. I admit, I selfishly love watching the many multi packet single handed cuts which take SO MUCH skill and effort to make look good but for some reason, the ones I just saw in your video, looked like a struggle. Here’s the thing though, I don’t think it’s possible to do what you’re doing much better but the moves LOOK as though they could be done better (even though I know they can’t). Does that make any sense? It’s like watching a grandmaster at work and thinking “Yea but…seems like he’s doing the same things, and he needs to work quicker”. I’d be SO wrong to say that, but if I THINK that, then something is fundamentally wrong or needs to be improved. You might be thinking to yourself “Andrei… you just need to be better at cardistry” and you’d probably be right. BUT - I shouldn’t have to adjust to YOU. YOU must adjust to your audience. Today, I’m your audience, and I promise - if you listen, you’ll go SO far with your potential. Specifically, I would MUCH rather see MORE moves like 11 second mark and 20 second mark than :03, :37, and :43. The last one was the coolest of the bunch I’ll admit, super slick. That said, your execution for what you’re doing, literally could NOT be much better. You’re crazy skilled and I think if you used your creativity and skill to focus more on variety and opened up your hands/packets to be a little bit larger, I think you have the most potential to destroy this competition in the future.
Yang: Interesting choice of music, definitely caught me off guard! Maybe that was the point all along… Either way, flawless execution, smooth, and effortless. Solid variety. That one handed running cut - dayumn! Advice for the next round if you advance - be more bold and take more risks. Think outside the box a little bit and involve more choreography/animation with what you’re doing. Sometimes, effortlessness looks a bit clinical so accentuate your skill by adding that layer of style and you’re golden. HOWEVER, don’t forget about those quirky ideas, they can make all the difference in the world. Contrast is good (even if you’re not flawless at executing them just yet).
Edgar: Dope! Something about your style that really catches the attention as well. If I was standing far away, it would be really difficult to ignore not staring and wanting to see a show. My advice for you is the opposite of Mr. Yang. You need to be the Ying. Your ideas are off the hook and the style is there but the execution needs a bit more work. Unless ideas are MONSTERS, it’s very difficult to compete with flawless execution (even if that execution isn’t as creative as your ideas). Try to strike a balance between finesse and creative brilliance. You have creativity for sure, but if you want to compete on that alone, you have to have Dimitri and Aviv’s level of ideas. They can get away with being rough around the edges. The Virts - can’t. That’s why they have to be perfect. Just kidding - love my asian brothers. In short, mad scientists can compete with flawless machines. Either go more mad, or be more polished. Or be both if you’re a level 5 X-man mutant.
To everyone: I would LOVE to see better development of personality. When I watch Aviv, I KNOW it’s AVIV. When I watch the Virts, I KNOW they’re the Virts. Dimitri, Spencer, all the Norse Gods. I just KNOW, without having to look too hard. Watch more Daniel Madison videos, but don’t be Madison, be you. Tell me who you are without saying a word. Or maybe DO say a word. Be bold, take risks, show your face. Develop your voice. Whether it’s your video quality, your flawless physique, your beautiful face - WHATEVER. Make me feel who YOU are. I want to know. Tell me a story I haven’t heard before. Then I’ll remember you, and so will everyone else. I want my head to explode before I see you touch the cards.
James: We saw some very technical ideas in there and some of the cuts had very nice memorable moments but we do feel like the whole thing could be cleaner. We love the idea at 0:14 as those motions are pretty unusual and we would love to see more stuff going that way. The last fan move wasn’t really interesting or beautiful so it was a bit weird to end on that note: it felt a bit anticlimactic.
At this point in the tournament, we were also expecting a bit more attention to the video itself: not necessarily some crazy professional filming and editing, we understand that not everyone can provide that, but a concept in the video or something a bit special or different is always appreciated.
Edgar: We love the fact that pretty much all your moves have a specific purpose and are very recognizable: we can almost remember an interesting moment for all the moves, so that’s great. Sometimes the focus of the move seems a bit off though, for example at 0:14 it feels a bit weird to focus that much intention into a simple packet drop, especially when you have all those good creative moments elsewhere.
The isolation sequence was precise and clean, definitely one of the best moments in the video, but the “flat square” after that move was a bit disappointing: if you’re going to play with simple shapes such as triangles and squares, the shape has to be perfect, and here the square was a bit off.
Yang: As usual, perfect execution. Some very good and smooth cuts, and we love the fact the you shot in nature with an unexpected music choice. That one handed move at 0:53 was really one of the highlight of the video, and you make it look effortless.
We do feel like there’s a lot of repetition with your last two rounds, and not that many moves felt really “new”, so maybe it would have been a better idea to have less moves and only focus on the best ones and the ones that were new to us: it would also have been easier to choreograph, as this is one of the main problem of this video. It feels too much like a casual freestyle and not like an actual performance.
We did have a problem for this round: The rules specifically mentioned that the video should be 1 minute long (give or take 5 seconds), and Yang Chan’s video is 1:40 which is way over the limit. Since the other 2 contestants followed that rule, it would seem unfair not to take that into consideration.
So... the two finalists that will be flown to Los Angeles next month, where their final round videos will be screened LIVE and voted on by the attendees of Cardistry-Con are:
Congratulation to you 2, and good luck for next round! And of course a huge congrats to Yang Chan for his amazing rounds!
- The Judges -