Examine all copies that exist. Do not necessarily dismiss components that are obviously shorter than the title’s original length. Research the following technical details for each copy that exists:
- exact lengths – a shot list may be required
- picture content – differing versions, reel composition, outtakes, offcuts etc.
- physical condition and condition degree – damage, scratches, shrinkage, brittleness, decomposition
- photographic quality – print-through, generation details, exposure density, frameline, problems, picture steadiness
- colour – colour balance, grading/timing information, noticeable fading
- sound track – quality of sound, completeness
The final selection should be the item that satisfies the above and is the most complete and most original.