The Third National
NPPA Platypus
March 11 - 23, 2001
The National Press Photographer's Association presents the Second National PLATYPUS Workshop in conjunction with the NPPA TV Workshop.
Sponsored by:

and the College of Continuing Education, University of Oklahoma.

Learn from the Platypus

The rapidly changing world of new media will offer today's photojournalists new opportunities to tell their stories, whether by print, the Web or television - provided they understand and master the techniques of video. There are crucial differences between the two, previously separate, professions. The rules must be learned before you can break them. The workshop will be taught by still photographers who have made the jump.

The Two Week Workshop

The first week will be a "boot camp" for still photographers in basic television shooting. In the second week, all would-be Platypi will enter the world famous NPPA TV Workshop to learn alongside the best in broadcast journalism.

You'll Work Hard

As TV shooters who have gone through the experience can attest, learning this stuff is no picnic. Participants will spend 12 to 16 hours a day in formal and informal sessions formal and informal sessions, attending lectures by the staff, shooting their assignments, and editing with Final Cut Pro on new Mac G4 computers.  Logistical considerations will limit the number of participants who will actually be shooting and editing to ten. However, the shooters will be married to observers in three man teams, and will go through all the exercises together. During the TV workshop, the teams will take the same kind of assignments given to the broadcast shooters, except they will be edited and critiqued in the Platypus nonlinear edit room.

What To Expect

You'll be totally immersed in a new atmosphere from the moment you arrive. The Workshop will provide the newest in 3-chip professional digital video cameras. Technical and storytelling skills will be taught, providing the foundation for a new breed of total visual journalists. 

Leave Your Ego Behind

Unless you already have a professional 3-chip digital camera that you can't do without, leave your gear behind. We will outfit you with the equipment you need. If you are already a skilled TV shooter, pass on the Platypus course and apply to the TV Workshop. Otherwise, forget everything you thought you knew about working with a handycam, and prepare to learn a set of skills that will form the core of your new career in photojournalism. Workshop graduates will be the spark plugs whose enthusiasm and commitment will energize the environments in which they will work - and change the face of media.

Plan Now

The Workshop is organized to let you take advantage of super-saver airfares. Fly to Oklahoma City on Saturday, and return home two weeks later on Friday evening.


Attendees must make their own housing arrangements. OCCE offers convenient, low-cost, on-campus accommodations. Full details will be mailed upon receipt of each completed application. For housing reservations and information, call 405-329-2270. Due to the large number of applicants expected, for both workshops, you should apply as soon as possible.

The University of Oklahoma is an Equal Opportunity Institution. Under the guidelines of the Americans With Disabilities Act, the University of Oklahoma requires written notice of any special needs for participants. This request must be submitted at least three weeks prior to the beginning conference date.

Faculty For The 2000 Platypus Workshop

Dirck Halstead, Director: A veteran still photographer for UPI and Time magazine. In the early 90's he helped in the creation of Video News International, now NYT-TV (a New York Times Company). VNI played an important early role in moving photojournalists into television. Dirck can be reached at (202) 338-3754, or Email:

David Snider: A documentary still photographer who has embraced the philosophy, he has co-produced three shows for ABC News Nightline. Snider is now the Executive Producer for The Digital Journalist website.

Rolf Behrens: A former cameraman and editor for Sky News, who spent 12 years on the news fronts of the world, including Somalia, Rwanda and South Africa, is now a freelance producer/director based in Washington, DC. Behrens has co-produced five shows for ABC News Nightline.

PF Bentley - An award-winning photographer for his in-depth reportage for Time and Newsweek magazines, PF has produced three programs for ABC News Nightline.

In addition, faculty members of the TV Workshop and guest speakers will share their knowledge with you as you prepare for a new career in visual journalism.

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Enrollment Application - 2000 Platypus Workshop
Deadline: January 15, 2001, for Shoot and Edit
The Platypus and TV Workshops are the best
professional investment you will ever make.

Enroll me for: (check one)

_____ Shoot and Edit: ($1,500) - Enrollment is limited to 10 photojournalists). Minimum of 2 years of professional photojournalism is required. NPPA reserves the right to select applicants if more than 10 paid applications are received. You will shoot and edit six TV exercises, then attend critique sessions with members of the faculty of both workshops for evaluation and constructive criticism. We suggest you bring a sturdy video tripod with a quick release clamp.

_____ Participant: ($750) - May be a photojournalist, reporter, editor, producer or educator. News managers will also benefit. You will attend all sessions, go out on assignments, but will not shoot or edit. If you have already shot a video piece or two, you are encouraged to bring short tapes on Beta, Digital or VHS tape for individual critique by a faculty member.

_____ Qualified Student: ($400) - The workshop encourages student participation. To qualify you must provide a letter from your professor or advisor verifying your status as a full-time student. You get full access to all sessions, plus a few "for students only" events.

There are a total of 30 spots open for
Participants or Students this year, so apply early.

Scholarships: Because we are aware that this is an expensive workshop, especially for some freelancers, we will offer a few scholarships, thanks to our sponsors. These Scholarships may be applied for by enclosing a letter to Dirck Halstead with your application, stating why you would like to attend.

*Special Note: Deadline for applications to Shoot and Edit is January 15, 2000. Payment (check, money order, or credit card information) must accompany application. Tuition fees are fully refundable except for cancellation without notice.

Home Address:_______________________________
Email Address:________________________________
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NPPA Membership Number:_____________________
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Mail completed application and check, money order, or credit card information  to:

The Platypus Workshop
National Press Photographers Association
3200 Croadsdaile Drive, Suite 306
Durham, North Carolina  27705

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