Watch: John Stalberg's Very Trippy VFX Reel for Sci-Fi Project 'Limbo'

October 28, 2011

Limbo VFX Reel

"So the good news is, there's life after death. The bad news is, it's really cold." Whoa. A very trippy VFX test reel for a new project from up-and-coming filmmaker John Stalberg Jr. was found by today, and it's definitely something to see. Stalberg is the director of the Sundance stoner comedy High School (review), which will get a release next year, but in the meantime he's prepping a project titled Limbo, some twisted sci-fi about a guy, played by Gabriel Sunday (Archie's Final Project), who ends up in a weird limbo reality when he dies. Its got flying whales, tentacles and more. It's essentially a trailer, so check it out below.

Here's the VFX tests made by BUF for John Stalberg Jr.'s new feature project Limbo, via Vimeo:

We're not sure of too much information on this, as it sounds like Stalberg is just putting Limbo together now. It's listed on his official website as a feature in development, but not on his IMDb yet. Other than these details, that's pretty much all we know. We're not sure who the girl is. The VFX were created by BUF, the same company behind some effects on Gaspar Noé's Enter the Void. This looks pretty damn cool, and I'm not sure if it's only a sales reel for now, but I really do hope we get to see more from this, I'm intrigued. What is this even about?! You can follow Stalberg on his website or twitter, and we'll definitely keep you updated on both High School (which I saw at Sundance and enjoyed) and Limbo, too. So… what is this?

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I'd watch it!

Bryan "bytehead" Price on Oct 28, 2011


Me too. Looks a bit above Scifi channel level and I watch stuff way below that with absolutely no problem.

Crapola on Oct 28, 2011


Pretty sure the girl is Elena Satine.

Cory on Oct 28, 2011


Yep, you're right...!/ElleSatine/status/130127506551484417

Agent Kid Society on Nov 2, 2011


We need to get back to practical effects in a big way.  I see way too much computer generated effects these days, and I'm getting so bored with it.  The only ones that really excite me these days are meticulous practical and make-up effects.  I recently watched John Carpenter's "The Thing" again, and it still blows me away.  It would be okay if they would do more with blending the practical effects and CG.

JL on Oct 28, 2011


Yes! Finally someone speaks the truth. I couldn't agree more with you JL! As great as CG is coming along with newer and newer movies, I think making "nonexistent" objects or being should start going back to making robots or makeup. It makes the movies and characters much more believable. For example, in Transformers 2, when Shia touches Bee, they had to do Shia's arm in CG (and everyone could tell how shitty it was) was Bee's head in a realistic crafted form, would've caught the crowds' eye way more.  I often ponder....Jurassic Park is my favorite movie, and with it being such a classic in all of movie history...I could see it being remade in the way future (though I hope it doesn't...I like the early 90's tinge to it), and I wonder if they too will do all the dinosaurs in CG?? Who knows, maybe CG will come so far it'll look realistic like the Stan Winston robots, but I feel the animatronics will also be a safer and greater bet in producing real, live dinosaurs.

JBrotsis on Oct 29, 2011


Thanks!  I had a thought while reading the part where you mentioned "Shia's" hand in TF2.  I never noticed this, probably because the movie failed to capture my attention and I probably stared through the tv a couple times whilst having my own more interesting day dreams, but the thought is this; real people cannot touch computer images, and computer generated people cannot tangibly interact with real settings.  It also probably takes a lot of work to render lighting and shading that APPROXIMATE the real lighting in the studio set or on location. In order for it to seem real, the actors have to play the part convincingly, the effect has to be well done, and if possible, there has to be some interaction with a tangible object, or at least a placeholder.  So I agree that while CG effects may have come a long way, there is always that final barrier that keeps it from being believable.  Aside from that, practical effects are becoming more affordable, and a truly creative effects specialist can improvise some great effects with cheap materials and the help of a good director, DP, and editor.  I have seen several movies recently that employ almost exclusively practical effects that are mostly convincing, on an independent film's small budget.

JL on Oct 29, 2011


You realize that Jurassic Park was one of the pioneering films for a product called Render Man which is essentially what all CG films are modeled in today (better known now as Maya).  There were very few animotronics in that film short of a few shots of the raptors. 

peloquin on Oct 31, 2011


I thought it was rendered in celery man:

JL on Oct 31, 2011


You win good sir, you win.

peloquin on Oct 31, 2011


I don't disagree with you, but we're talking about a (probably) modestly budgeted movie that is using CGI to create things that would cost a fortune if it was done practically.  This is what they should be using CGI for -- to create interesting/different movies without breaking the bank.

Ian on Nov 4, 2011


Hmmm...someone has been playing the VG "The Darkness" 🙂

David Banner on Oct 29, 2011


Thats what I thought,still looks interesting.

tir na nog on Oct 29, 2011


looks sick! 

Strobefalcone on Oct 29, 2011


Least the CGI was pretty damn cool. has a take on terminator 2 with those tentacles. I'd definitely go see it. 

JBrotsis on Oct 29, 2011


Dear Hollywood, can we have more of this please? Heroes with tentacles ftw

Dada on Oct 29, 2011


Looks really weird.

Janet Johnson on Oct 29, 2011


Rolling Stones, flying whales, tentacles...... I'm in.

Francis on Oct 30, 2011


there's info about the movie at the BUF website. stalberg jr is directing from a screenplay by toby harvard. here's the plot synopsis, it sounds pretty cool: "Ghostbusters" as told from the ghosts' perspective. Set in a large American city in the near future, The Exorcist Corporation, led by a vain commander, sends elite armed exorcists into purgatory to kill ghosts, preventing them from returning to the world of the living.MEN IN BLACK meets GHOST.

LisbethSalander on Oct 30, 2011


VERY cool premise!

WHall88 on Oct 30, 2011


so, I'm guessing the dudes in black stormtrooper gear were elite armed exorcists. And the tentacle guy is a ghost? kinda interesting..

Quint on Oct 31, 2011


Looks like a complete waste of time to me. ...

Jrp7sen on Oct 30, 2011


trippy. any other information on this? 

Daniel Ryan on Oct 30, 2011



frank on Oct 31, 2011


Kudos to the film-makers. This clip is more imaginative than any of last summer's bloated, formulaic cine-turds. More of this!

wwwilson on Nov 6, 2011

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