I was a bit dismayed after arriving at the location for this days shooting. It was a steep barren hill the exact location I cannot recall. The special effects crew had planted dummy explosives all over the hill. They were marked with tiny flags camouflaged to blend into the barren earth. The make-up was ugly brown and black smeared over our faces and necks. We were issued old vintage 1952 rusted guns. Then we were placed on the hill. Those of us near an explosive flag were placed in such a way that none of the faked explosion would hit us. When you see the closer shots of an explosive being set off a hidden wire was planted in the ground and led to an explosive expert who controlled the moment of activation. He was right next to the camera and visually made sure no one could be harmed. Even if we were hit by the exploding dirt the charge was so low it would cause no harm to us. I had been working in the scene on the hill. It was hot, dry and we were all sweating from the heat. I worked fairly close to Gregory Peck in some of those scenes.
Then everything changed for me. I had often worked with this assistant director and we were friendly acquaintances. He motioned me to come out of the set. He took me over to the chicken coop and explained I was to feed the chickens and give the loud speakers a look that was both ignoring the speech and feigning some contempt. Yippee a silent bit (see my SEG blog). After a few rehearsals, my moment was captured on film. Then even better, now that I was established by the chicken coop I could no longer work in any other shots. So my voucher was upgraded to a silent bit adjustment and I was released for the day. A car took me back to the studio where I took a quick shower changed back to my own clothes and went home after only a half day on the job. 🙂
The trailer for this movie also had a flash of me feeding the chickens. Watch at 1:18 in this trailer clip.