Cadaver Hour Films

Day 53: Trivia
  • Submitted as an Official entry in George A. Romero's "Diary of the Dead" Short Film Contest.
  • Submitted as an Official entry in the Zombie Short Film Festival.
  • Shot in Elizabeth, New Jersey in two days, during the month of February.
  • Production lasted a total of 28 days, from start to finish.
  • Budget: $350 (including camera rental).
  • Filmed on a Sony HVRA1U HDV Camcorder.
  • The film's idea was inspired by the Keeper's Diary file in Capcom's "Resident Evil."
  • The story was initially discussed weeks prior to the contest's announcement. It just happened to coincide perfectly.
  • The title "Day 53" was chosen to show the amount of time the main character has spent preparing for and ultimately living with his situation. The film portrays his final days.
  • Many of the story's details are subtlety placed throughout the film in an attempt to better tell a larger story than the contest's 3-minute maximum time limit allowed.
  • The main character, Barry, is named after Barry Burton from Capcom's "Resident Evil."
  • The specific Journal used in the film took a great deal of searching to track down. The search spanned multiple stores and upward to 8 hours.
  • Being that the shooting location was not equipped with electricity, the film was shot during the day and used only natural lighting.
  • Four firearms were used during the shoot. Only three made it into the final cut.
  • Many of the props were obtained from friends & family's basements or garages.
  • The set decoration was organized and set up by Lizbeth Solan.
  • The map that can be seen hanging on the fence is actually a train system blueprint.
  • The original amount of cans placed on the shelf was: 13. This scene had to be re-shot to cut down on time.
  • The picture in the frame on Barry's desk is of Chris Wendland's wife, Lizbeth Solan.
  • "Day 53" marks John Wendland's first of many cameo roles.
  • The zombie's (John Wendland) scream was taken from the audio of an unused take of the same scene.
  • The door Barry comes in from in the beginning of the film actually leads to another room; not outside, as portrayed.
  • In order to perfect the camera movement (which ended up being cut from the scene due to time) and the angle of the shot, Chris Wendland had to walk/run up & down the stairs multiple times.
  • The abandoned pick-up truck used when Barry is listening to the radio report had no front-end body. The engine was in plain sight and had to be shot around.
  • The radio report Barry is listening to in the truck was a news report taken from George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead.
  • Both Directors had no prior experience with Special Effects Make-Up. In order to pull off the "bloodier" sequences, they met with a local Costume Shop clerk to learn more and practiced extensively.
  • Due to time restraints on the final day of shooting, only 2 hours were allotted for the scenes that required Special FX make-up.
  • The fingernail that Barry pulls off is actually a small piece of plastic cut to size from an empty soda bottle.
  • "Itchy Tasty" is a reference to the final entry in Resident Evil's Keeper's Diary file.
  • The final entry that can be seen in the journal during the "Itchy Tasty" scene was written minutes before shooting.
  • Additional Special Effects make-up was planned for the arm eating scene but had to be scrapped due to limited sunlight/time.
  • During the arm eating scene, Chris Wendland almost didn't make it through the take without being sick.
  • The arm eating scene was done in one take.
  • The final scene of the film had to have the audio significantly edited due to background noise and conversation.
  • Friend and fellow Director, Ron Paglio Jr. helped out on set on the final day of shooting.
  • Devin Anderson's "Monster Symphony – 1st Movement" was worked in as the score after the editing had already been completed. The musical piece just happened to fit perfectly.
  • The first cut of the short film was approximately 10 minutes in length; 7 minutes longer than the contest allowed.
Day 53 (Trailer):
  • Submitted as an Official entry in Jason Eisener's "Hobo With A Shotgun" Trailer Contest.
  • Some of the scenes were taken from the original short film, "Day 53."
  • Shot on location in Andover, Denville and Sparta, New Jersey, over the course of two weekends.
  • The new scenes for the trailer were shot 3 years after the original short film.
  • Production lasted a total of a month and a half, from start to finish.
  • Filmed on a Sony HVRZ7U HDV Camcorder.
  • Due to technical difficulties, the footage shot the first weekend was completely scrapped.
  • The first weekend's scrapped footage was filmed in John Wendland's garage and basement. The same basement would later be used in the short film, "Trepan."
  • The second weekend of shooting was entirely improvised in Chris Wendland's basement.
  • The Journal used in the new scenes is the very same used in the original short film.
  • The outdoor scenes were filmed at Kittatinny National Park in Andover, NJ.
  • While on set getting outdoor footage in the woods, the directors stumbled across what looked like a makeshift fishing pole stuck in the ground that appeared to little more than a stick with a string attached to it. Pulling the line out of the water, they found a dead rat with a pocket knife through it still on the end of it.
  • Kevin MacLeod's "The House of Leaves" was worked in as the score after the editing had already been completed. The musical piece just happened to fit perfectly.


Latest Videos
Short film. Official entry for the ABCs of Death contest.
Watch it » 

Day 53
Short film. Official entry for "Diary of the Dead" contest.
Watch it » 

Day 53 Gag Reel
A compilation of bloopers from the set of Day 53.
Watch it » 

Day 53 Trailer
Official contest entry trailer for our short film, Day 53.
Watch it » 

1/29/13: Director's Welcome