High Speed filming is shooting more frames per second, then slowing the motion down. 24 frames is the standard normal speed. Once you shoot more frames per second than that and play it back at 24 frames you slow the motion down
Slow motion is useful to study events to that are impossible observe with the naked eye and to draw out the length of an action. Originating from military and scientific utilization, slow motion was mainly used to test the velocity on weapons ranging from firearms to ship cannons.
Pre digital, content was filmed mechanically by pulling strips of film in front of the gate. The physics would limit how fast you could actually go, usually shooting around 300 frames per second. Shooting slow motion with film would require massive amounts of light to to compensate for super fast frame rate. Would be very expensive due to the massive amount of film used. With the old photo sonic cameras the AC would grab the magazine with leather gloves to slow it down and save film.
In the digital age, cameras like the Phantom can shoot at 1000 frames per second at 4K resolution. Much more media is utilized and can easily shoot multiple terabytes of footage, so you spend a lot of time reviewing takes.. One of the biggest mistakes people make is not preparing the data management requirements of high speed. People often are in the bad habit of not cutting enough when shooting digital which can create even more data. A D.I.T (digital imaging technician) with a robust rig and adequate time scheduled to process the footage are crucial to avoiding significant overtime on the shoot day.
Shooting table top is a more cost effective today because the space and light required are much smaller and tidier. These smaller footprints are a great way to produce visual excitement in a much simpler and tamed environment.