This is a first part of the chemical lab intermediate process where a positive print of film is produced from the cut (edited) camera negative. Interpositives are made by contact printing onto another orange-base stock. In order to preserve as much detail as possible from the negative, including its dynamic range, interpositive material is very fine grain, slow and has a gamma of 1. During the copying process, grading controls are used to position the image density in the center of the interpositive material’s linear range. As a part of the process of going from one camera negative to, possibly, thousands of prints, a number of interpositives are copied from the negative.
See also: Film basics (Tutorial 2)