Two strangers wake up in the middle of the desert with no memory of anything - including their names. Are they dead? Or did they just party too hard at Burning Man? A warm buddy film at heart - but hopefully also a rumination on existential themes such as regret, cynicism, faith, and empathy - Mister Limbo is an odyssey evoking Waiting For Godot on drugs, with a soft spot for the short-lived TV series, "The 4400."
| Mister Limbo still frames
Working on Mister Limbo was an experience that warrants a book, or at least a novella to tell the whole story. I'll do my best to give you the short version here.
It was my second collaboration with director, Robert Putka and his film family–which I suppose I'm now a part of as well. It had been a couple of years since our last joint-venture, We Used To Know Each Other, but the familiar crew, cast, and working style allowed us to fall right into the flow of things, which is good because the ruggedness and remoteness of the filming locations, and our ambitious shooting schedule would definitely put us all to the test.
We filmed over the course of just 8-days with an additional 2-days of prep in the California desert. I drove down from the Bay Area to meet the rest of the cast and crew, who came from Los Angeles and Cleaveland. Once we were all in the same place, we quickly established our base camp and got to know our equipment.
As on We Used To Know Each Other, Joe Martin and I would share cinematography duties. This time, we'd only be using a single camera, so we had a bit more freedom as to how we'd structure our workflow. This ended up being a godsend since our camera and lens package was heavy, we'd regularly find ourselves hiking many kilometers from the road to our filming spots, and there were many slow zoom shots written into the script that would have been impossible for a single camera operator to manage, thanks to our vintage 1970s Angenieux Optimo zoom lens, which doesn't hold focus as it zooms in or out. 
| Mister Limbo BTS photos
Shooting was as smooth as we could have expected given the quick timeline and unforgiving environment. Which means we got most of what we came for, but there were a couple of key scenes that we weren't able to get right due to weather.
A few months after principal photography, we made a second trip to the desert to get pickups, scenics, and reshoots. By that time, we knew what to expect, so we were ready. I was, however, without Joe Martin for the second stint of shooting, which I wish wouldn't have been the case.
In the end, Robert and his editor, Ben Measor, crafted a moving film, full of mystery, humor, and genuine heart. I won't soon forget my time working on this movie. Even if the memories of the harsh working conditions fade, I'll have the film itself to bring all those memories right back to the forefront of my mind.
Fantaspoa International Film Festival, 2021
Chattanooga Film Festival, 2021
Arizona Underground Film Festival, 2021
George Lindsey UNA Film Festival, 2021
Beloit International Film Festival, 2022
Americana Film Festival, 2022
Florida Film Festival, 2022
Mister Limbo is currently available to watch on The Roku Channel and on Tubi.
Hugo de Sousa – "Mister Limbo"
Vig Norris – "Craig"
Cameron Dye – "Drifter"
Hugo Armstrong – "Father"
Chris Doubek – "Surveyor"
Skinner Myers – "Umbrella Hat"
Heidi Luo – "Su"
Amy Hoerler – "Hannah"
Key Crew
Robert J. Putka – Writer, Director
Joe Battaglia – Producer
Ben Measor – Editor
Mackenzie Mathis – Cinematographer, Colorist
Joe Martin – Cinematographer
Jennifer Kennedy – Location Manager
Chris Mack – Location Sound
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