Glossary Of Film Terms

Here's a glossary of film terms and their meanings: Answer Print

The answer print, or first trial print, is the first print made from edited picture and sound track, incorporating fades, dissolves and other effects. The answer print is usually printed from the A and B rolls. The answer print is not guaranteed to be perfect but represents the best judgment of lab's timers.

Timing corrections, if any, should be requested by the customer after viewing the answer print and prior to ordering intermediates or release prints.

Release Prints

Release prints are generally struck from either the A/B rolls or from the Internegative and optical track for multiple printing once the answer print has been approved.

Optical Sound Track

An optical soundtrack is the soundtrack negative that is printed onto the side of the finished film.  It is required for a sound print and is usually made from the mixed magnetic sound.

A Wind or B Wind

Wind refers to the relationship between image direction and emulsion position.  Images in B-wind read correctly through the base.  All camera negative original is B-wind.

Colour Reversal

Color reversal film is cheaper because the camera original is processed into your projectable print whereas with color negative there is a development of the camera original into a negative and then a projectable print is created from that. Reversal does not have as good color reproduction or latitude. You also can't have any more prints made from a reversal stock unless you have an inter-negative made, which is very pricey and degrades the quality of the finished print.  Color Reversal has a nice look for special purposes (70's look) and is fine for transfer to video but really not suited for making film prints.

Colour Negative

Color negative there is a development of the camera original into a negative and then a projectable print is created from that. Colour negative has better color reproduction or latitude than colour reversal.


Designating a film or television programme for which the sound is recorded on separate magnetic material and run in synchronism with the picture.  Film that is completely covered with audio magnetic material.  For more info see:


Magnetic (mag) tracks are recorded onto oxide stripes on the edge of the film, which are read by playback heads in the projector. Mag tracks work the same way as audiotape and look similar to tape, appearing as a dull, brownish coating on side of the film.

16mm news reels often had this type of sound recording as it was quick.  Defined as: composite sound print (picture and track).


An internegative is a motion picture film duplicate. It is the color counterpart to an interpositive, in which a low-contrast color image is used as the positive between anoriginal camera negative and a duplicate negative.

After a film is shot, the original negatives—taken directly from the camera equipment—are edited into correct sequence and printed onto fresh stock as a cohesive film, creating an interpositive print used for color timing. From the interpositive, answer prints, which include the color-corrected imagery and a properly synced sound track, are made. Once approved by the studio, the final answer print is made into an internegative used for striking copies that will be delivered to theaters for viewing.


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