May 2016 - Challenge: Slow Motion with Special Guest Judge Vanessa McKellar

This month, we invited a special guest judge to select the Top 3 best uses of slow motion in a mini-film all shot and edited during the month of May.  She is Vanessa McKellar of McKellar Wedding Cinema.  (Vanessa also graciously handled Q&A for us!)

Vanessa is the highly talented cinematographer behind the husband-wife wedding cinema duo from Texas, and she has recently taken to telling other kinds of real-life stories through documentary filmmaking.  Vanessa's vast storytelling portfolio boasts talent that can be described as both documentary and artistic.  She uses many visual techniques to emphasize the meaning behind what she sees, and one of those we've all been dying to learn more about is slow motion.

And now, in no particular order, here are her Top 3 picks and, in her own words, her reasoning behind her decisions.

"Sweet Spring" by Francesca Russell of Francesca Russell Photography and Films

Vanessa writes, "This was just beautiful: beautiful flowers, beautiful music, beautiful children, beautiful light. Those are the kind of flower shots I try to get at weddings and it's not easy! Nice and subtle use of the prism. Lovely bokeh. The slow mo was perfect - the shots that needed to be slow were, and vice versa. I wanted to watch it again as soon as it was over!"

Vanessa writes, "I want one of these for each of my own children some day! Kept me entertained and interested the whole way through. Adore the shot of her braiding her hair. Her inclusion of natural audio was understated but added a lot of dimension. Nice variety in her compositions - shooting wide and tight, through things, etc."

"Day in May" by Jennifer Stein

Vanessa writes, "Great fun with lots of energy. Fun to feel like I was in the middle of their family life for a bit. Some really pretty shots in there with the lights. I was most impressed by how well she edited to the music- the energy in the shots matches the energy of the different parts of the song."

Great job, everyone!  Next month's challenge is getting yourself in the frame, so come on and Join Project 12!



Courtney Keim