Short Film
Education & Infographics

A Rough Shed

Ample Projects


A Rough Shed is a short animated film adaptation of Henry Lawson’s short story of the same name, telling a part of the story of the time that Henry Lawson spent in Bourke, and is installed as part of the permanent displays at Bourke Exhibition and Cultural Centre, providing a window into another time, an historically important era in the History of Bourke.

This 7 minute animated historical short film was designed and produced on a small budget primarily as a permanent museum display, within a complex interpretive museum static display, designed by Ample Projects, and co-designed and built and installed by Show Works, incorporating extracts of Lawson’s poetry, and historical accounts of the time that Lawson spent in Bourke. Our objective was to capture the look and feel of a sheep station in the region in the late 1800s, as well as Lawson’s experience and ‘frame of mind’ working as a roustabout on Toorale sheep station in the 1890s. We visited numerous locations in Bourke and Louth, including Dunlop Station at Louth - a key design reference for our production design of the
period living and working conditions for the characters and the landscapes described in A Rough Shed.

Lawson lived and worked in Bourke in 1892 and 1893 during a time of devastating drought. He worked as a roustabout at Toorale Station near Bourke in 1892. This time spent provided much of the material for his most productive and celebrated written works. While it is not clear that the protagonist in A Rough Shed is Lawson himself, the devastating anguish in his descriptions of the protagonist’s cycle of life, and the captivating detail in the descriptions of the place, the people, and his daily routines, suggests that the short story is autobiographical.

The film is part of a suite of animated works created by Ample Projects for the permanent collection at the Bourke Exhibition and Cultural Centre in Bourke NSW. The Ample Projects team designed a detailed collection of static interpretive permanent museum displays, the centrepiece for which is a large faceted mural display with extract text from Lawson’s poem The Song of The Darling River. A Rough Shed appears within the centrepiece display, on an LED screen integrated into the design of the overall installation. The film is supported by additional historical static displays with lots of text to read, so the film couldn’t have spoken dialogue or voice over as this would be distracting for readers, hence the film has no voiceover or spoken dialogue, it is sound design and musical score, with subtitles.

To understand Lawson’s life and his experiences in Bourke might help us to empathise with so many people in our society today who live in cycles of poverty, have problems with addiction, or have mental illnesses. It is so important to remember that there is always help.

Depression effects 1 in 7 people in Australia. It’s a serious condition that effects your physical and mental health. It is important to know that it is treatable, and it’s worth reaching out and talking to someone about it.


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Adapted and Directed by Nicholas Tory
Animation: Amy Bell, Jelena Sinik, Nicolette Axiak
Backgrounds and Colour Design: Dinh Nguyen
Art Direction & After Effects Composite: Nicholas Tory
Edited by: Nicholas Tory
Storyboard: Nicholas Tory

Music: Alex Dray
Sound Design: Alex Dray

Produced by: Nicholas Tory


After Effects, Toon Boom Harmony, TVPaint, Photoshop, Blender and Adobe Animate