The life of a pen, from the beginning to the end, conveniently drawn with pens.
A pen is the star of this story. Starting from its purchase, we discover its different uses across time, not only as a writing tool. The loss of the pen will cause a change of ownership, fading its existence into the background.
Naturally, this work of animation is drawn entirely with ballpoint pens in its more than 2.500 frames, in which digital effects have been avoided.
Director: Josep Calle
Production: Kaspa Films (Spain), 2022
Running time: 4'20"
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Stereo Sound 2.0
Prints available in English, Spanish, French and Catalan.
Screenplay, drawings, animation, photography, edition, sound, web and direction: JOSEP CALLE
Music: ANATOLY NIKULIN
Thanks to Siscu Calle, Francisco Calle, Ernesto Rubio and Marta Armengol
Josep Calle (Mollet del Vallés, 1975)
Freelance animator, specialized in stop motion and 3D modeling. He combines his personal projects with collaborations with tv companies and film productions, winning multiple awards in film festivals from around the world.
He is also a researcher specialized in film heritage at the National Film Archive of Catalonia. After 13 years of experience, he moved to other areas in the motion picture industry, specialising in physical handling of film elements..
He is also an experienced and skilled projectionist, working recently at specialized and independent cinemas in Barcelona.
Pengraphy is the natural evolution of my previous short film, Movie Bic (2019), a rotoscoped recreation of the final duel between Captain Ahab, played by Gregory Peck, and Moby Dick, in John Huston's film. On that occasion I experimented with ballpoint pen drawing, resulting in being selected at several international animation festivals and a prize at the Julius festival in Vic.
For the following project I wanted to repeat this technique with a story involving the appearance of a pen, and what better way than the story of its life, which finds a precise description in the play on words that gives it its title.
From its purchase, its life is going to be marked by its different uses, shown through a quick and fun montage, the level of ink, and something that inevitably happens with all pens: its loss.
For this last part I wanted to represent the "oblivion" of certain ways of writing in favor of more modern and faster devices that lead the protagonist to its end.
Starting from a totally independent production, the story was carefully designed in a storyboard and later was filmed using real imagery. This footage was then segmented at 12 frames per second, resulting in over 2,500 images. Using the rotoscoping technique, these images were drawn with ballpoint pens on DIN A5 size sheets, and then scanned. 20 blue ink pens were used.
During editing, digital effects were avoided: fades and transitions are drawn on paper, treating each sheet as if it were a frame of the resulting film.
The music was composed by Anatoly Nikulin, using a lively main theme that changes rhythm as the action unfolds. He explained: "The song 'Why Not?' was written in 2010. Initially, it was a small educational exercise called 'Innovation'. After 10 years, this song, under a new name, was released on the album 'What's Your Name?'. I made a new arrangement especially for Pengraphy".
With Pengraphy I wanted to mix an artistic expression of my own and the vindication of the use of an inanimate object.