In the language of digital cinema, a Digital Cinema Package, or DCP, is the name given to the collection of files sent to a cinema. It is a “packing crate” for files, which may or may not comprise a complete motion picture. A digital motion picture, on the other hand, is comprised of a structured set of files referred to as a Composition. A Composition is a work product, or title, examples of which include not only motion pictures, but also trailers and advertisements.
A DCP can carry one or more Compositions, or only a partial Composition. When carrying one or more Compositions, the DCP is called a Composition Package. When carrying the partial assets of a single Composition, the DCP is called an Asset Package. A Packing List accompanies each DCP, identifying the DCP’s file assets. These concepts are illustrated below, and explained in further detail in subsequent parts of this chapter.