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Monthly Archives: November 2005

Video darkens when converting to MPEG-2 for DVD production — problem and solution

By Greg Pak
I recently noticed that my new short film looked considerably darker on DVD than in Final Cut Pro. I hadn’t seen this problem with DVDs I’d made of other projects I’d cut in Final Cut Pro.
The problem: The project was shot with the Panasonic DVX100 in 24P. The sequence in Final Cut Pro was set at 23.98 frames per second. I had been exporting this sequence directly to NTSC MPEG-2 for the DVDs. Apparently, FCP makes images darker and more contrasty when exporting from a 23.98 fps sequence to an NTSC MPEG-2.
The solution: I exported the 23.98 fps sequence to a 29.97 fps DV/DVCPRO – NTSC Best Quality QuickTime file. I then cut that QuickTime file back into a 29.97 fps FCP sequence and exported to MPEG-2. And now there’s no noticable darkening of the image.
I did notice that the process of exporting the 23.98 fps sequence to the 29.97 fps DV/DVCPRO file seems to have affected the colors very slightly, making them a touch warmer. It’s a faint enough adjustment that it doesn’t bother me — and it’s vastly preferable to the darkening which had been happening before.
System: Macintosh G4 533 MHz Dual Processor running FCP HD 4.5

Greg Pak to write “Incredible Hulk” comic book series

Marvel Comics has announced that Greg Pak will be the writer of the “Planet Hulk” storyline, which begins in Issue 92 of “The Incredible Hulk.” Visit Newsarama to read the press release. Here’s an excerpt:

“‘Planet Hulk’ thrusts the Hulk into a savage world in which a corrupt empire uses the spectacle of bloody gladiatorial combat to distract its citizens, discipline its slaves, and dispose of its enemies,” says Pak. “In a world in which might makes right and he who wins in the arena has the chance to influence thousands, what path will the Hulk take? Will the monster become a hero? Or will he become the worst tyrant the universe has ever seen?”

Interior pencils are by Carlo Pagulayan; covers are by Ladronn. interviews Greg Pak

John C. Snider at has interviewed Greg Pak about “Robot Stories,” the new “Robot Stories and More Screenplays” paperback, and Pak’s comic work. Click here to read the interview. to poll readers to decide which “Amazing Fantasy” 15 character gets miniseries

Comicon’s PULSE has published a new article about “Amazing Fantasy” Number 15, the anthology comic featuring updates of old Marvel characters by six of Marvel’s “Terrific Ten” writers. The latest news:

Readers of the series, take note: Marvel wants your feedback! The week this comic hits stands, there will be a special poll on where you, the fans, get to decide which of the characters introduced in Amazing Fantasy #15 will get their own mini-series!

Greg Pak’s contribution is “Mastermind Excello,” about a genius kid on the run, with art by Takeshi Miyazawa. The book goes on sale November 30.

New “Mastermind Excello” preview pages

UPDATE: Please vote now at for “Mastermind Excello” — the winner of the poll gets a miniseries!
UPDATE: The first four pages of the “Mastermind Excello” story, fully colored and captioned, are now online at Mile High Comics!
The Spanish language website has new preview pages online for Marvel’s “Amazing Fantasy” Number 15, an anthology comic featuring stories by writers such as Daniel Way, Dan Slott, Greg Pak, Robert Kirkman, and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. The article includes two pages of art by Takeshi Miyazawa from Greg Pak’s “Mastermind Excello” story, featuring boy-genius-on-the-run Amadeus Cho. Click here to view. The book hits comic stores on November 30.

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