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Nocturnal Butterflies (1998)



A moth leads us to the waiting room of a nocturnal station where a surreal sketch takes place. Inspired by the work of Paul Delvaux.


"Nocturnal butterflies" is the only film that was performed in its entirety in Servaisgraphy. The film is inspired by the work of Paul Delvaux. Despite the evidence that the Servaisgraphy was very effective in integrating live action into drawn backgrounds, the process became somewhat obsolete due to the rapidly evolving computer technology. ”




After he already used his own technique in 'Harpya' to bring live action and animation together, Raoul Servais later invented a system that could work faster and that was relatively cheap: the Servaisgraphy. The actors are filmed on black and white film in a completely white environment. Then the 35mm images are analysed and the images are taken from them. They will then be enlarged on special transparent photo paper that is placed in a machine. It makes a reverse negative, which produces a positive image, on photosensitive cels (transparent acetate sheets). The cells on which the actors can be seen in gray tones are then colored on the back, placed on top of the painted sets and filmed frame by frame. Servais has no longer used his Servais graphics after 'Nachtvlinders', because the development of computer technology made the process almost obsolete. He used computer techniques for both his full-length film 'Taxandria' and his short film 'Atraksion'.

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1998: Grand Prize: International Animation Film Festival - Annecy (France).

1998: Prize of International Film Criticism (FIPRESCI) - Annecy (France).

1998: Palme d'Or: Festival Mondial du Court Métrage - Huy.

1998: Prize of the Walloon Government - Huy.

1998: Sabam Prize - Huy.

1999: Honorable Mention: International Short Film Festival - Drama (Greece).


Technical sheet


  • Format: 35mm

  • Colour

  • Frame: 1 x 1.66

  • Sound: Optical-Stereo Dolby SR

  • Length: 8 '

  • Original version: International - no dialogues

  • Directed by: Raoul Servais

  • Script: Raoul Servais

  • Animation: Raoul Servais, Rudy Turkovics

  • Background: Raoul Servais

  • Music: Bo Spaenc

  • Sound: Philip Vandendriessche

  • Cast: Jo Roets, and others

  • Executive producer: Annemie Degryse

  • Produced by: Anagram, realised with the support of the Flemish Community, the Atelier AAA (Annecy) and Channel Four (London)

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