Instructions and rules for uploading

This section provides information about the ground rules and recommendations for users who want to share stories. Please make sure you read these and the terms and conditions and privacy policy before uploading your first story. You can find information on the FAQ page for questions that have not been answered here. Below this text, you can find detailed guidelines for uploading stories in any format and the one you have chosen.

With Estorium, we want to preserve the uniqueness and the unique spiritual imprint that each human being leaves on this earth. So, the stories you share here are expected to contain just that - the truest and most immediate sense of the person you are documenting. The figure, the posture and specific gait, the melody of the voice, the vibrant energy and emotion, the smile, the sense of purpose or perhaps the sadness, the statement of values and beliefs, the glimpse of unique knowledge and skills, the sharing of moving stories, memories, and life experiences.   

To assist you in capturing this, we have prepared several questionnaires for different age groups that you can find here. We also suggest you check out our training videos here. These will help you build the most complete and exciting narrative possible if you have no previous experience with this. In the sections below, you can learn about our specific recommendations and requirements for creating stories in each format - videos, virtual reality, photography, text, and audio.

What we admire is the creation of an engaging and well-structured narrative that looks and sounds great and can convey the subject’s personality and environment to the fullest extent. In doing so, the person's own life experiences and stories should be the focal point. While general reflections on life are acceptable, at Estorium, we primarily value shared personal experiences, incidents and emotions.

Estorium is different from all other storytelling platforms because it allows you to upload only one story about a person every 5 years. So, before you post your entries, think about what it is that you want to preserve - whether it is your own story or that of a loved one. Currently, the maximum number of posts allowed per story includes one (1) video, one (1) VR recording, twenty (20) photographs, six (6) pieces of text, and six (6) audio recordings.
In addition to the content itself, it is particularly important and valuable to us that as much meta-information as possible is shared with each published piece. This includes the documented person's full name, date and place of birth, occupation, ethnicity, the recording location and date, the themes in the narrative, etc. All of this will make using our digital library far more rewarding. That is why we encourage you to gather all the necessary data to fill out this meta-information when creating your story. You can download a list of this data here.

At Estorium, we are particular about the originality of the documented and shared materials. We want to build a broad community of story 'collectors' around the cause who, by volunteering their time, can help create the most prolific and well-structured digital library of authentic human stories. In doing so, we have no tolerance towards material infringing on others' copyrights, nor do we tolerate the copying of pre-written texts in digital and print publications. We strongly recommend that where external sources are referenced or regulated, this is clearly indicated when uploading a story in the comments tab of step 3. 

To some extent, we will be tolerant of the general rules and guidelines in case you wish to preserve the stories of your ancestors who are no longer living or of loved ones in ill health. For example, this would be the case with an old black-and-white photograph or a single recording of your grandfather on a tape recorder or a reel. If these documents can sufficiently capture his image and personality as the only evidence of his life journey, they can be preserved in Estorium. In doing so, we would expect you to include your written narrative and the metadata mentioned above so that we can publish these documents as your grandfather’s story.

We at Estorium are also open to digitising and preserving unique records with significant social and historical significance or revealing rare practices and customs that might be lost in time. In all of this, our focus remains strictly on personal stories and experiences, and it is through this prism that we are interested in both historical events and traditions.         

Estorium is a philanthropic venture with no commercial purpose. The materials and personal data you share with us are not subject to monetisation or remarketing.  Therefore, for the development of the Estorium cause, we rely entirely on your pro-bono contribution.    


Uploading your documented story is easy, fast, and intuitive, taking no more than 7-8 minutes. The process is comprised of 3 (three) consecutive steps, namely:

Step 1 - sharing information about the formats of your documentary, including authorship and consent information of the person documented. You can download forms certifying such authorship and consent here. In case there is doubt about the authenticity of the materials provided, and in the event of a claim of authorship or lack of consent by a third party, we will require you to provide a scanned copy of these documents. Sharing stories with unsettled or unclear copyright will not be permitted in the interest of your own security and protection in the event of third-party claims. In the authors tab, we recommend you credit in detail all copyright holders and their function - e.g., writer, director, cinematographer, etc. 

Step 2 - sharing information about the content. Here, you should add the story’s title and the information about the person being documented described above - name, age, occupation, etc. We encourage you to share as much information as possible here - it will significantly increase the chance of your story being approved and published.

Step 3 - uploading content. In this step, you should add the key image that the story will be published with, the content files, subtitles in other languages (if available), tags, and your commentary and links to referenced or used content from external sources (if applicable). We recommend you provide your phone number in this tab since this will make communication faster and more efficient in case you want to change or edit the story.

The story will be sent to our editors for review and approval upon your confirmation. This story will be marked as "pending" in your profile.


After review from our editors, an objective assessment of the content you have shared and its compliance with the rules and goals of Estorium, your story will be marked as one of the following:

Approved - the story meets all of the content and artistic requirements and recommendations of Estorium. Upon approval, you will receive a confirmation email in your inbox. Occasionally, it may end up in your spam folder, so we recommend checking it if our response is delayed.
Suggested edit - the story partially meets the content and artistic requirements and recommendations of Estorium. In this case, we will send you an email detailing our editing recommendations to have your story approved. In some cases, our editors may provide their own edited version, which needs your confirmation and approval. Again, we recommend you check your spam folder if our response is delayed.
Rejected - in cases when the story does not meet any of these requirements, its content and artistry are of little value, violates basic human rights, or contains and promotes violence. You will receive a notification email if a story is rejected.

Stories in text and image formats will be shared directly on our platform. Stories in video, VR, and audio formats will be shared by our editors on the YouTube and Soundcloud channels of Estorium, respectively, and linked to your user profile on our platform.

In case you decide to deactivate your account, the stories you share will continue to be part of the Estorium archive. These stories can be taken down and deleted if you provide us with clear and valid reasons for doing so in an email.

1. Estorium allows you to upload only one video story per narrator every 5 years.

2. The standard length of each story is 5 minutes. The recommended deviation from the standard is (X2), i.e., in the 2:30-10:00 minute range. Greater deviation is acceptable at the writer's discretion, especially if the storyteller has a wide range of unique abilities, knowledge, and skills.

3. Each story should begin with a brief prelude and introduction to the narrator. We recommend this be done in the following order: a) general shots representing the habitat (the environment surrounding them) - a town, neighbourhood, house or building, etc. b) close-up shots showcasing the character in their habitat c) a portrait of the character.

4. The edit should follow a standard shot scheme and adequate overlays illustrating the narrative’s theme. Using the narrator’s personal archive photo and video footage as an overlay is acceptable. Editing should not be too fast or choppy. The vivid image of the narrator should be clearly conveyed through the video with lengths that feature narration and natural pauses, as well as the display of emotions.

5. Time in the video should flow at its natural speed. Ellipses (time jumps) are acceptable, but speeding up (timelapse) and slowing down time (slow motion) should be avoided. The exception to this rule is their use as a dramaturgical device directly related to the essence of the narrative.

6. We recommend NOT using/adding background music in videos unless it is an organic part of the narrator’s environment - live performances or music coming from a visible source - radio, TV, etc. If the author does decide to use such, it is imperative that a copyright license for that music be attached. 

7. As follows, the soundscape should include only the organic sounds of the narrator's living environment.
8. Drone footage should be used sparingly - only as a device introducing the narrator's environment and/or a new location and final summary.

9. Footage from action cameras (e.g., GoPro) is allowed but should be used sparingly - as a device to illustrate an action or part of the narrator's environment that is difficult to convey with a conventional camera.

10. We recommend each story has a vivid beginning and a culmination of the emotional build-up of the narrative at the end.

11. Colour corrections and colour tinting should convey the organic sense of color and contrast of the narrator's environment as much as possible. The exception to the rule is their use as a dramaturgical device directly related to the essence of the narrative.

12. The recommended recording technical parameters are: 24/25/30 fps and a minimum resolution of 1920:1080p (full HD). A downward deviation is allowed in the case of unique personal archives shot in lower resolution.

13. It is recommended that conversations be recorded using a tripod/static camera. In shots where the narrator is on the move, handheld recording is also possible.

14. We recommend recording details and static overlays that represent the narrator's environment using a tripod. Recording overlays that illustrate action can be done by hand.

15. Using auxiliary lighting/reflective aperture for documentation is allowed, provided it does not distort the natural sense of the location’s organic light and shadow contrast.

1. Estorium allows you to upload only one VR story per narrator every 5 years.

2. The standard length of each VR story is 3 minutes. The recommended deviation from the standard of (X2) - i.e., in the 1:30 - 6:00 minute range. Greater deviation is acceptable at the author's discretion, especially if the storyteller has a large set of unique abilities, knowledge, and skills or if they live in a unique environment that is the subject of documentation.

3. We recommend you use 6 shots to illustrate the narrator's environment and their presence within it (suggested variance is X2. i.e., ranging from 3 to 12 frames)
4. The standard duration of each VR frame is half a minute. We recommend deviation from the standard of (X2) - i.e., in the 0:15-1:00 minute range. The exception to the rule is illustrating actions, which may require wider deviations.

5. When using a VR camera, it should be placed so that it is central to the documented environment or the action performed.

6. When filming with a VR camera, we recommend you document the narrator performing everyday actions or skills special and unique to them.

7. When producing the VR narrative, we suggest all shots be used to reveal a different perspective of the narrator's environment, qualities, and skills.
8. In selecting proper footage, pick out the pieces that fully reflect the environment and the narrator's actions within it.

9. The author is free to choose the editing sequence of the footage. We recommend each story has a vivid beginning and a culmination of the emotional build-up of the narrative at the end.

10. The recommended technical recording parameters for VR are: 24/25/30 fps and the highest possible resolution the available shooting equipment allows.
1. Estorium allows you to upload up to 20 photographs per story every 5 years.

2. When preparing the photo narrative, we recommend using shots that reveal different perspectives on the narrator’s personality, environment, qualities, and skills.

3. Using auxiliary lighting and/or a reflective aperture for documentation is allowed, provided it does not distort the natural sense of the location’s light And shadow contrast.

4. Colour corrections and colour tinting should convey the organic sense of light, color, and contrast in the narrator's environment as much as possible.

5. The length of the introduction should convey as clearly and cleanly as possible both the narrator’s personality and their surrounding environment. Spectacular long-exposure shots are acceptable if dramaturgically justified.

6. The technical requirements for the photographs are at least 1000:1000 pixels per photograph. Variance is allowed in case you are using unique personal archives shot at a lower resolution.
1. Estorium allows you to upload 6 text files per story every 5 years.

2. Texts that are eligible for publication include biographical and autobiographical essays/articles that reveal the documented person’s characteristics and life path to the fullest extent possible. Texts must be original and represent the individual immediately and emotionally, not solely through dry historical and biographical information. Reprints of informative texts from digital encyclopaedias and/or other sources are not allowed.    

3. Submissions may also include the publication of personal poetry, prose, epistolary works, etc., for revealing an additional personal touch to the values and feelings of the documented person.    

4. Editorial intervention is permissible in the publication of texts. Its function is to format the text through selection, abbreviation, sensical arrangement, layout and proofreading so that it aligns with the goals and mission of Estorium mentioned earlier.

5. Text that has undergone such intervention is marked with a unique sign for edited text. In cases where editing is not necessary or is limited to cosmetic proofreading, the text shall be marked with a sign of authenticity.

6. Where possible, we recommend uploading texts in a format convenient for editing - word, pdf, etc. In the absence of such a format, scanned copies of documents - biographical and autobiographical notes, epistolary poetry or prose, etc. are also accepted.

7. The recommended length of each published text is 6 standard pages. We suggest a deviation from the standard of (X2) – i.e., in the 3 -12-page range. Deviation from the standard is allowed, provided it adds value to Estorium and fits with the fundamental goals and mission of the endeavour - individuals with particularly vivid life stories, social significance, etc.  
Estorium allows you to upload 6 audio files per story every 5 years.

1. The standard length of each story is 2:30 minutes. We suggest deviation from the standard of (X2) - i.e., in the 1:15-5:00 minute range.

2. Background music should not be used (added) in the audio unless you are synchronising an organic part of the environment - a live performance by the person or music coming from their surroundings. The audio design can include the natural sounds of the character's environment.

3. We recommend every story has a vivid beginning and a culmination of the narrative’s emotional build-up at the end.

4. Recommended Parameters: Audio - 48000hz; Stereo - 384kbps           
Every human being on earth deserves to share their story.
  1. Every human being deserves to have their image, voice, body movements, and the beauty of their spirit registered and preserved for those who come after them.
  2. Every human being deserves to be provided with the conditions and the time necessary to get in touch with their story. With their presence and attitude, the collector should do everything in their power to help them do this. The collector treats each narrator with equal attention, care, and dedication.
  3. The story is the narrator's means of expressing themselves. The collector’s task is to record this story in its most authentic and unadulterated form without becoming the narrator’s author or co-author. His presence and imprint in recording the story should be minimal.
  4. The collector should not misrepresent, ridicule, or censor the narrator.
  5. The collector is there to skillfully direct and, in some cases at their discretion, give complete freedom to the narrator if they consider that stepping out of the box adds value to Estorium and fits with the fundamental goals and mission of the endeavour.
  6. In case the conditions and/or attitudes of a particular location pose barriers, isolate, or prevent the collector from reaching every potential narrator, the collector must do everything in their power to fulfil their mission to the fullest extent possible, within reasonable limits that ensure their own safety.
  7. The collector must provide the storyteller with the environment and conditions to freely recall their own story, unaffected by distractions, external influences or constraints.
  8. In preparing the story, the collector should use only what the narrator has agreed to be documented.
  9. The collector should maintain confidentiality and not publicly disclose information that the narrator has shared with them privately beyond the scope of documentation.
  10. The collector should remain loyal to their commitment to Estorium and must not use their work as a means of personal gain and benefit. Should they wish to use and develop any of the stories in a personal project, that endeavour should be discussed separately and in no way be confused with their work for Estorium.
  11. The collector should be tolerant towards people in poor health and/or delicate mental states. At their discretion, they may postpone working on such a story or choose a means of documentation (photography, audio recording, writing) that preserves the dignity of the storyteller.

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