Filming your Tolstoy is a lot like taking any other kind of video. You want it to be engaging, high quality, and leave a lasting impression. Although unlike taking a cute video of your dog for your Insta story, a Tolstoy needs to take viewers on a journey and keep them hooked the whole time.
We have some tips to ensure that your Tolstoy looks amazing and is as successful as possible.
There are multiple ways to film a Tolstoy:
■ With your phone. This is the easiest and fastest way to launch a Tolstoy, and it also has the benefit of creating a conversation vibe that viewers often respond well to. Check out out DIY filming guide for best practices.
■ With your laptop. This is easy, and will allow you to share your screen and give product overviews. But keep in mind that the quality on computer cameras isn’t as high as it is on a phone.
■ With professional equipment. If you plan to publish your Tolstoy directly on a website, you might want to consider investing in a higher production experience. This doesn’t have to cost much, and no technical skills are needed. We compiled a short list of best-in-class, affordable equipment that will supercharge your Tolstoys without breaking the bank.
■ With one of our creative partners. Our community of expert filmmakers, actors/actresses, and script writers can create Tolstoys for you and help in situations where you either don’t have the time, or the desire to do it all yourself. We’re happy to connect you to the right crew, whether you have a script and just need someone to act in it or film it, or if you want to outsource the entire thing. Check out our partners page to contact us.
Your Tolstoy video is accessible on both web and mobile, however the proportions will change. On mobile the Tolstoy will cut the majority of your frame: the center third is what will be left. To make sure your viewers see what they need to, keep the majority of the action (the presenter or messaging) in the center third of the frame.
Your Tolstoy is all about the options that you give your audience. They can choose a button that explains your company’s mission or go on a journey to pick the right product for their lifestyle. The possibilities are endless, but the way you present the options should follow a few rules
Ask your audience to pick their next step, but you don’t necessarily need to read the options out loud to them. Let the audience read the buttons themselves. You can ask them “What would you like to do next?” or “Choose the option that best describes you”, but reading each option out loud can take too much time.
Pointing to the buttons, or the general area where the buttons will be, is a cute way to break the fourth wall and acknowledge the interactivity aspect of the Tolstoy.
When filming, make sure you leave a few seconds of “stillness” at the end of each video. This short tail allows your audience time to read and choose what they want to watch next.
If the 2020 pandemic taught us anything, it’s that how we appear on camera is super important! You should always wear whatever you’re comfortable and feel good in, but try and keep it camera friendly. Solid colors always appear better than stripes or bold patterns, and try to avoid black or white as this can appear too contrasting.
Decide where you’re going to film yourself. A neutral blank wall works great, but based on your Tolstoy's main message, you might want to film with a certain background like an office, apartment, kitchen, etc. Adding personality to your location is great- just make sure you don’t have any unwanted interruptions midway through filming!
You can either sit or stand, both work great. Just make sure to set yourself in the middle of the frame. When people interact with your conversation on mobile, they’re not going to see the sides of the frame, only what’s right in the middle of it.
If your text is hard to remember, we recommend using a teleprompter app. This way, you don’t have to memorize any lines. It saves a ton of time! We recommend Teleprompter for the iPhone, which is free and works great.
Make sure the sound of your recording is good and clear. Fridges, air conditioners, and stray conversations can have a really big impact on sound quality. We recommend that you record yourself, in the final space, and then see how it sounds on a computer (checking on a phone doesn’t help as much). Does it sound good? If so, then you’re all set!
Viewers respond best when the person in front of them seems down to earth. We recommend that you use simple, everyday language, and explain things just as you would in person.