The phrase "hours of boredom punctuated by moments of terror” is usually used in relation to war but could just as easily be applied to working on a film set, perhaps along with “trying to achieve the impossible, very quickly without upsetting anyone”. I’ve just spent a few days on a location for a new television series based on a novel by a famous author and featuring two very well known actors. Sadly the four page contract and non-disclosure agreement that I signed prohibits me from saying or showing any more than that, and I won't be allowed to use any of the pictures until much nearer the transmission date, if at all, so these images are from last year's acclaimed BBC series "The Living and the Dead" but here's an idea of a typical day. Having, hopefully, had a chance to read the script so that you have some idea of who the characters are and what the story is, you will get a call sheet the night before with the timings for the day. The call time on set was 8am, but of course any diligent crew member is there before that, if only for the plentiful breakfast, and as the set was an hour from home, my alarm was set for 5.30am. Arriving at the unit base for the first time, of the forty odd individuals who make up the film crew, there are at least five key people, the Producer, Director, 1st Asst Director, Production Manager, and Director of Photography who you have to identify, introduce yourself to, and whose names you have to memorise. The process of getting the job done is slightly different on every set but basically involves working out whether or not each scene is going to yield anything useful in terms of good images, and then asking the 1st AD or the Director to let you have a few seconds either before or after shooting the takes when the actors may, if you're lucky, run through the scene once more for your benefit, but only once and with zero tolerance for any delay if you suddenly find you're using the wrong lens or need a fresh memory card. Occasionally, if it’s a long shot, it might be possible to shoot alongside the camera operator during a take, provided your camera is silent but the lighting for interior sets will almost certainly be on the low side and shooting at a 30th/sec wide open on a 300mm lens at 3200 ISO is not unusual. Over the days that I was on set, none of my shoots lasted more than a minute and there were between six and nine scenes per day, not all of which were appropriate for stills, so there are hours of downtime when nothing much is happening during which you might be able to shoot some documentary images of the cast and crew, or sit around like the actors, reading a book. At the end of the day, sometime around 7pm, the director will call it a wrap and you can make your way home - to start again at 5.30 the next morning……I wouldn't want to do it every day but as an antidote to some of my other work, I love it.