Ringan Ledwidge--a leading, creatively influential commercial director and co-founder of venerable production house Rattling Stick--died early yesterday morning (11/10) in his sleep at the age of 50 after battling cancer.
A statement from Rattling Stick, which maintains operations in London and Los Angeles, read in part: “No one will ever come close to the legend that he is. We could sit here and write up all the accolades he has won, or go into the magic he added to everything he touched, but that doesn’t feel right just now. Anyone that knew Ringan, knew what a special, wonderful man he was. He will never be forgotten, and the industry has just lost one of its best.”
Ledwidge graduated from London’s Ravensbourne School of Design and began working as a photojournalist in the Middle East. In 1999 he moved into directing and quickly made his mark.
Ledwidge went on to direct hugely popular commercials for Lynx, Adidas, Nike, the COI and Coke, picking up awards at D&AD, British Arrows and Cannes. In 2005, production began on his first feature Gone, through Working Title and Universal.
Upon returning to the world of commercials, Ledwidge joined forces with director Daniel Kleinman and Rattling Stick was born in May 2006. Here Ringan directed campaigns for Sainsbury’s, Britvic, Hovis, John Lewis, Puma, Axe, Barnardo’s and The Guardian to name a few, and has received further awards at British Arrows, D&AD and Cannes including the coveted Grand Prix.
Over the ensuing years he continued to turn out stellar work and gain award recognition. Among the highlights were lauded films for The Guardian, Nike and Sainsbury’s.
Then in 2015 he focused primarily on his film endeavors, working on the screenplay for an adaptation of Songs of the Gorilla Nation, and on an original idea set against the backdrop of the London Riots.
In 2016 Ledwidge joined forces with Massive Attack, directing the haunting music video for “Voodoo In My Blood” featuring Rosamund Pike. He continued to work closely with the band.
In the last few years he has continued to make commercials which send waves around the awards circuit: most notably for Jose Cuervo and Audi. For the latter brand, “Clowns” received assorted honors, including gold at the Andys, Creative Circle, British Arrows and Cannes Lions. In 2019 Ledwidge directed two hugely successful Super Bowl ads for Olay and Audi.
Ledwidge is survived by his wife and child.