Phil Blauw, video services manager at Hope, was director of photography for “Heritage Hill Bride: The Murder of Shelley Speet Mills,” which has been accepted into the North by Midwest Micro-Budget Film Festival of Kalamazoo.
The festival will run on Friday and Saturday, March 3-4, and will feature more than 50 films. “Heritage Hill Bride: The Murder of Shelley Speet Mills” will be shown on Friday, March 4, at 4 p.m. at the Epic Center Harold and Grace Upjohn Foundation Board Room, located at 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall in Kalamazoo.
The film was directed by Dr. David Schock, who is a former member of the Hope communication faculty and produced through Delayed Justice, which Schock created to bring attention to unsolved homicides. As the crime is described on the festival’s website:
Vesta Speet had driven from Holland, MI, to Grand Rapids on the late morning of September 15, 1970, to have lunch with her newly married daughter, 19-year-old Shelley Speet Mills. In the car was her (Vesta’s) blind father, who was going to spend the afternoon with Shelley when Vesta went to visit her mother. He waited as Vesta went up to the apartment in a house at 314 College N.E. She thought it odd that Shelley had not come out to meet her when she honked the car’s horn, something the friendly young woman normally would have done. But things weren’t normal. Inside the apartment, Mrs. Speet found murder–bloody murder. The scene stunned her as she fumbled to dial for the police. And after reaching the police, she dialed to reach Shelley’s husband of less than three weeks, Lowell (MI) band teacher Bill Mills. Grand Rapids Police have been working the case ever since.
More information about the North by Midwest Micro-Budget Film Festival and its presentation of “Heritage Hill Bride: The Murder of Shelley Speet Mills” can be found online. More about Delayed Justice is available online at www.delayedjustice.com.
A 1983 Hope graduate, Blauw started his career writing and producing commercials at KRDO-TV in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He joined the Hope staff in 2000 with several years’ additional experience as a freelance videographer and producer.
A variety of the films and segments for which he has been videographer have received awards, including, among others, “Hope College: An Education for Life,” a series that the college developed for use during the WGVU telecasts of the January 2010 Hope-Calvin men’s basketball games, which earned both silver and bronze awards in the 2010 “Pride of CASE V Awards” program sponsored by the Great Lakes District V of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education; “Tulip Time in Holland,” which won an Award of Merit from the Historical Society of Michigan in the fall of 2003; and “Who Killed Janet Chandler?,” which won the Audience Choice Award for the best Feature Documentary during the 2008 TriMedia Film Festival held in Fort Collins, Colorado. Blauw has worked with Schock on several projects, including the award-winning films about Tulip Time and the murder of Janet Chandler.