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Pre-print element

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Pre-print element refers to any film element created during the production of a film. As the name implies, it refers to all film elements except the final exhibition copy. Outside of the confines of a production facility or lab, pre-print elements are not intended for projection. They should never be handled or projected in a exhibition setting. Projecting pre-print elements would yield an aesthetically incomplete and incomprehensible presentation, and amount to an unacceptable risk to irreplaceable elements.

Pre-element elements include, but are not limited to:

  • The original camera negative (OCN)
  • The fine grain master (FGM) or interpositive
  • The duplicate negative or internegative
  • The optical soundtrack negative
  • The master magnetic track
  • Trims and outtakes

If you encounter any of the above elements, please alert an archivist. Do not project them.

A reversal original is a pre-print element that can easily be confused for a projection print. Some reversal originals, such as home movies, were often treated as projection prints, though archival best practice would dictate that they be duplicated or digitized before projection.