Platypus Hawai'i Workshop

November 24 -
December 1, 2001

Application Deadline:
October 15, 2001

Sponsored by:
Aloha! The fall 2001 Platypus Workshop is now accepting applications. Our host will be the University of Hawai'i at Hilo on the Big Island of Hawai'i.

Hilo is the hometown of the University of Hawai'i at Hilo on the Big Island of Hawai'i. Hilo, with approximately 45,000 people, has the friendly atmosphere of a small town with a tropical flair. The Big Island is blessed with unusual black and green sand beaches, beautiful waterfalls and botanical gardens. There is an approachable and fascinating active volcano in the Hawai'i Volcanos National Park, and nearby, the 14,000-foot Mauna Kea volcano has the best astronomical observatories in the world. There's even snow in the winter for those who like to ski Hawaiian-style.

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.

You'll Work Hard

As TV shooters who have gone through the experience can attest, learning this stuff is no picnic. Students will spend 12 to 16 hours a day in formal and informal sessions, attending lectures by the staff, shooting their assignments, and editing with Final Cut Pro on new Mac G4 computers.

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. 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.

The cost of the one week workshop is $1500 for Shoot-and-Edit students. These people will do the hands-on shooting and editing. There is a limit of 10 positions in this category. There are also 20 spots available for participants at $750. These students will join the Shoot-and-Edit people to make up 3-person teams. They will get all the same training. This category is especially attractive to editors, writers, and producers who want to familiarize themselves with the language of television. In the event there are more than 10 candidates for Shoot-and-Edit, the first to apply will be considered, If Shoot-and-Edit is full, you will be offered an opportunity to attend as a participant, and you will be refunded the balance of your tuition.

Travel and Housing

Attendees must make their own travel and housing arrangements. We have planned the workshop so that you can travel to Hawaii on November 22nd, Thanksgiving Day, which is one of the lightest travel days of the year for the Trans-Pacific flight. However, we recommend you make your reservations as soon as possible in order to be able to take advantage of Super-Saver fares. Be sure your flight plans include the inter-island portion to and from Hilo.

We have made a special "Platypus Package" available with the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel. The room rate is $90 per night plus tax for a single or double and may be extended prior to or after the workshop depending upon availability. The rate for a compact car as part of the package is $29 per day plus taxes and surcharges. The car is mandataory for Shoot-and-Edit attendees, as you will need the car to complete your assignments, and the UH Hilo campus is a long walk from the Hilo Hawaiian. You must make your reservations direct by calling the hotel at 808-935-9361, or their reservations office at 800-367-5004. Be sure to tell them you are with the Platypus Workshop group when you book your reservations. Rates and availability are guaranteed on reservations booked by October 24. The hotel has a 72-hour cancellation policy.


Due to the logistics of planning this workshop in Paradise, we must have all applications by October 15th.

Important Links


Faculty for the Platypus Island 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:

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. Email:

David Snider:
Executive Producer of The Digital Journalist website, Snider is a documentary photographer and video journalist based in Washington, D.C. He has produced four programs for ABC News Nightline.

Click Here for enrollment application

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