Born in Ostend, Belgium in 1928, Raoul Servais studied Decorative Arts at the Ghent Royal Academy of Fine Arts and started his career in moving images with a short animated titled Spokenhistorie ("Ghost Story"). Made with fellow students and the support of his teacher, Albert Vermeiren, Servais made use of a homemade camera constructed from a cigar box in its creation.
After serving in the military during the second World War and experimenting with short films, he becomes the youngest member of a team working with René Magritte who became furious with him for offering technical advice to the master. In spite of this, Servais' admiration for Magritte doesn't falter. Through his political commitments, he finds work illustrating for the Labour and Socialist movements.
In the sixties, his appointment as teacher of decorative arts at the Ghent Academy of Fine Arts finally provides him with the support and stability to pursue his aspirations in film and animation. He founds Europe's first department of animation and begins work on his individual and eclectic collection of films.
In the late seventies, he creates and registers Servaisgraphy, a technique by which he shoots live action characters and prints them on cellophane which allowed him to integrate live action shots into animated backgrounds. The first work to feature this was Harpya (1979) and he would use it further in Taxandria(1994) and Nocturnal Butterflies(1998).
Despite finding success throughout his career with prestigious accolades, he has not been shy in making dramatic changes between works. Below are a selection of some of Servais' work in Flash format. Links to vendors for DVDs featuring his work are available in the links.
Chromophobia - 1965
Harpya (The Harpy) 1979
Nachtvlinders (Nocturnal Butterflies) 1997
Raoul Servais interview - AWN
DVD Beaver - Raoul Servais
Raoul Servais DVD - xploitedcinema.com