PAL color system

The current standard color system used in most Western European countries (excluding France), parts of Africa, parts of Asia (including China and India, excluding Japan), parts of South America, and in Australia and New Zealand.  The system was developed in Germany.  It has 625 horizontal lines.  PAL is an acronym for Phase Alternation Line  See also NTSC color system, SECAM color system.


See Public service announcements.


The process of formatting a wide-screen film onto video by selecting the area of the film frame to show in order to accommodate the different aspect ratios of wide-screen film and television.  During the process, the transferred area of the film must be continuously selected, and scenes encompassing the entire width of the film are often panned or followed from one side to the other.  See also Anamorphic, Aspect ratio, Wide-screen film.

Paper positive

A positive image on photographic paper stock used for copyright registration of motion pictures, ca. 1894-1912.

Parallel title

A parallel title is defined by traditional library usage as the title proper in another language and/or script.  However, parallel titles are not used in this manual because moving image works in a language and/or script different from the original are treated as versions.

Part title

A title assigned to an individual work within a series, serial, or newsreel.  See also Episode title.

Phase Alternation Line

See PAL color system.

Physical description

A set of elements of physical data that characterizes a moving image work.


The image portion of a film or video.  As a broad film generation term, "pic" is used to describe a film containing an image with either no sound or separate sound.

Picture negative

See Negative picture.

Picture positive

See Positive picture.

Picture positive work print

See Work print.


The first episode of a television series that, regardless of its length, introduces a potential television series, e.g., a made-for-television movie can also be a pilot.

Playback mode

See Video format.

Playing speed

See Video playing speed.

Political spots

Television commercials or theater announcements that present information on candidates for public office or that express views on candidates or issues.  See also Television commercialsTheater announcements.

Polyester film base

A safety film base of polyethylene terephthalate developed by Dupont.  The trade name for Dupont products is Cronar; for Kodak products it is Estar.  Currently manufactured safety base films are polyester and triacetate.  See also Film base, Safety film base, Triacetate film base.


A film containing images that match the colors and/or tonal values of those in the original subject matter.  Broadly applies to positives with and without sound, and separate positive optical tracks.

Positive picture

A film with either no sound or separate sound containing images that match the colors and/or tonal values of those in the original subject matter.

Positive track

An optical sound track that is recorded on one edge of positive film stock.

Positive work track

An optical sound track found on one edge of positive film stock that is used during the editing process and coordinates with the images in a work print.

Preferred source

The primary source of information for cataloging moving image materials.  The preferred source is the work itself (i.e., main title, beginning and end credits, intertitles, spoken credits).  See also Secondary source.


Sometimes used as a vanity credit.  In the early years of motion picture production, normally the head of a studio.  Currently used for a person or corporate body who is associated with production, finance, or distribution in some way.

Press conferences

Scheduled interviews given by a public figure to the media.


See Trailers.


A film, with or without sound, containing a positive image printed from a duplicate negative or a reversal film.  See also Answer print, Reversal print, Theatrical projection print, Viewing print.


The person who bears the administrative and financial responsibility for a moving image work.  In practice, the role of a producer may be much wider and can include artistic involvement.

Production company

The name of the company under whose financial, technical, and organizational management a moving image work is made.  In a broad sense, the production company is responsible for the overall creation of the work.

Production number

A number given to a program or feature as a means of ensuring accuracy in assigning costs and other accounting information.  Production numbers may appear on the work itself, the leader, can, accompanying documentation, etc.  See also Episode number.

Projection characteristics

Characteristics related to the horizontal and vertical size of projected film and video images.  See also Anamorphic, Aspect ratio, Letterbox, Pan-and-scan, Wide-screen film.

Projection speed

See Film projection speed.


Broadcast announcements for an upcoming program on a network or station.

Promotional materials

Presentations designed to carry a message about a particular moving image work to exhibitors, sponsors, agents, etc.

Prop tests

Filmed or taped evaluations or observations of furnishings, fixtures, decorations, or any other moveable items used or touched by a performer on a stage set or location.  See also Screen tests, Wardrobe tests.

Public service announcements (PSAs)

Short films or videos presented by nonprofit organizations or government agencies which attempt to persuade the audience to take some specific action or adopt a favorable view towards some service, institution, issue, or cause.  See also Announcements, Theater announcements.


See Distribution.

See also: