The production of Raoul Servais' new short film "Der Lange Kerl" is in full swing.
The film is a major Belgian co-production between Creative Conspiracy (CC) in Ghent and Tchack in Lille (France) with support from VAF (the Flemish Audiovisual Fund), the Belgian Tax Shelter and Pictanovo, the film support fund of the French region of Hauts-de-France.
The story of "Der Lange Kerl" is set (like Raoul's previous work "Tank" from 2015) on the battlefield during the First World War. The approximately 13-minute film makes use of both ordinary film footage that is digitally edited afterwards, as well as animated film. Producer Creative Conspiracy (CC) in Ghent, Belgium takes care of the 'live' recordings while the animation is performed by Tchack in the Northern French city of Lille.
In a trench setting built in the studio, the confrontation of a wounded Frenchman with a tall young German soldier is filmed. The main actors are Gilles De Schryver as the Frenchman François and Matthieu Sys as the German Friedrich, alias 'der lange Kerl'. Gilles De Schryver (36) is known from the film "Hasta la vista" and the TV series "Code 37" and "Tom & Harry". His opposite Matthieu Sys (32) previously appeared in the TV series "In Vlaamse velden", "Amigo's" and "Black-out".
Raoul Servais conceived the story, wrote the screenplay and drew the storyboard. Because of his age, the 93-year-old animator worked with Rudy Pinceel, his co-director, on the realisation of the film. "I direct from a distance, Rudy is the director on the spot", says Servais. Both know each other well because Rudy Pinceel followed Raoul with the camera for three years for his long documentary "SERVAIS" (2018).
The internationally renowned composer and conductor Dirk Brossé, who is not a novice when it comes to film music, wrote the music for "Der Lange Kerl". "Der Lange Kerl" is Servais' 15th animated short film. He also made the long film "Taxandria" (1994), a mix of ordinary film images and animation. The films of the "magician of Ostend" have won more than 60 awards, including the 'Palme d'Or' in Cannes for "Harpya" (1979). Raoul Servais is also the founder of the animation film department of the KASK in Ghent. Since 2018, a large part of the oeuvre of the painter-cinematographer-animation pioneer can be seen in Mu.ZEE (Ostend).