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A teenage girl's struggle with acne - A short film production

Updated: Jul 1, 2021

Mandolin Media produced this video as part of a series, filmed in Singapore with the pre and post-production taking place in Bangkok, Thailand.

Claudia was 12 when she started to have spots, and by the age of 17 it had spread all over her face and had turned into cystic acne - a deep, serious form of acne that can cause scarring and be particularly difficult to remedy.

She eventually got help for the problem, and at 19 years old, the improvement is quite remarkable.

She suffered from the stigma and misconceptions around acne, but has turned the experience into a positive one.

She bravely agreed to tell her story, in the hope that others would learn not to judge or make assumptions about others based on their appearance.

"people might think you're not clean, you're very unhygienic, you don't wash your face, but I know that's not true at all"

This video commercial is one of three short films commissioned by SW1 Clinic to promote women and tackle taboos around female health. The client asked that the style of the shoot be in a natural, documentary style, as the experiences and stories of the women were the main focus, not the clinic or any particular treatments themselves.

The idea was to produce a series of short films to inspire female empowerment and body confidence, simply by letting the ladies speak for themselves. As we love human-interest storytelling at Mandolin Media, this was an ideal approach for us.


The first step was to have a creative call with SW1 from Singapore while we were in Bangkok, Thailand. During that discussion the clinic decided to work with us as their video production agency, as the client felt we would be able to deliver what they wanted.

We discussed the requirements and produced a storyboard, script/interview questions, production schedule and shot list.

The shoot

The shoot took place over just a few days in Singapore, we didn't have much time with each interviewee and our options for places the interview were limited, so we ended up filming at the clinic itself.

As you can see the space we had was quite cramped, so it was difficult to set up as we'd have liked. If you're interested in our tips on how to set up and shoot an interview you can follow the link.

Mandolin Media, video production agency in Bangkok, Thailand, filming an interview in the small space available!
Our Creative Director, filming an interview in the small space available! (Mandolin Media)

The client was very accommodating and great to work with, which made everything go smoothly, from pre to post production.

We filmed time-lapses and b-roll of the city, which is very iconic so we wanted to make those shots interesting and impactful. The main focus of the films were the subjects, so the intro shots just serve to establish the location.

Mandolin Media, video production agency in Bangkok, Thailand, filming a time lapse on location.
Our Creative Director filming a time lapse on location. (Mandolin Media)

We used a gimbal with our Sony A7III and handheld/shoulder rigged FS7, which I find to be a great combo to capture a range of shots.

The interview went really well with Claudia, she was very open and honest and a pleasure to work with. You can't ask for more as production crew than someone who is willing to be there and bravely put themselves in front of the camera. Claudia was also aware that other young people might see the film and be suffering from the same stigma and difficulties she faced, so wanted to tell her story and positive message.

I hope you don't discriminate against others because of their skin, because of how they look. Be kind to them, shower them with more love.

SW1 were able to help Claudia, her skin is now very much improved, along with her confidence and self-esteem.

Contact us if you'd like a quote on your project.

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