Maya Alleruzzo, an Associated Press photographer, with her Canon XH-G1 camera at the Spring 2009 Platypus Workshop. Maya had flown in from her current base in Baghdad for the Portland, Ore., workshop. Canon, Apple, Libec, Litepanels, Sennheiser and ThinkTank supply state-of-the-art equipment for each Platypus student.
"Before this course, I couldn't imagine producing a project on my own. I walked out believing that I could. Thank you."
The Associated Press
"The Platypus Workshop is a fast, intensive and valuable experience for anyone who is interested in learning how to effectively prepare for, shoot and edit video. It provided a solid foundation of skills that helped me transition from still photography to digital video production. Since first taking the course I have had five documentary programs appear on PBS stations throughout the country. Thank you, Dirck, for creating this excellent crash course in digital video storytelling."
Red Door Video Productions
(Pulitzer Prize Winner)
"Thanks for a workshop that will, I believe, change my life. How on earth can we not get excited about this work, when you are clearly so energized by it yourself?"
Director of Media Affairs, Communications and Public Affairs
The University of Western Ontario, Canada
"To help me remain a competitive and relevant storyteller in today's media, I chose a Platypus Workshop; one of the most intense learning experiences of my life."
The Globe and Mail, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
"I just wanted to let you know I left the Sun-Sentinel (downsizing) and am now using my Platypus skills as a freelancer. Thanks for all the great training and enlightenment."
Judy Sloan Rich
Photojournalist and Platypus
"Prior to taking Dirck Halstead's Platypus Workshop in 1999, I had never held a video camera in my hand. One month after taking the workshop, I was the author of a piece called "Mustapha's Story" which aired on ABC's Nightline. I was incredibly inspired and heartened by this newfound voice that I had acquired, adding motion and sound to my vision as a still photographer. And, contrary to what many may think, learning video skills has actually enhanced my awareness and approach to my still photography and has inspired me to approach photography asking new questions with newfound curiosity. One of the aspects of the Platypus Workshop that is so wonderful is Dirck's ability to underline and highlight in his teaching of videography and multi-media narrative, what is wonderful and essential about one's already acquired skills and vision as a still photographer. The process of adding motion and sound, in the context of this workshop, is all about the spirit of empowering our voices as individual visual communicators. The Platypus Workshop will always be a most rewarding investment and experience for anyone wanting to empower their individual voice as a storyteller."
"I am proud to have been a part of the first Platypus Workshop. Dirck and his team can unleash in a very practical way the ability for a photojournalist to translate his or her photographic sensibility to also becoming a filmmaker. This experience was invaluable in striving to realize my own aspirations in this regard."
"The Platypus Workshop gave me the knowledge and inspiration that led me on the marvelous journey of video storytelling. Dirck and PF were and are ahead of their time in recognizing the power of this medium."
Hybrid (Photographer and Filmmaker)
"I entered the Platypus Workshop unsure of myself. I left feeling confident and ready to provide my newspaper with powerful video storytelling."
The Spokane Spokesman-Review
"Not only will PF and DH sharpen your storytelling abilities and teach you high definition video, the Platypus will give you hands-on access to the latest in hardware and software technology."