Ringan Ledwidge, the celebrated director and co-founder of UK production company Rattling Stick, has died aged 50.
Rattling Stick said: "It is with a very heavy heart we have to announce that our beloved Ringan passed away in his sleep. Cancer has taken him from us, and we already miss him dearly. 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 directed countless acclaimed spots including Bartle Bogle Hegarty's "Clowns" for Audi, "Three little pigs" for The Guardian and "Dangerous liaisons" for Levi's; Venables Bell & Partners' "Duel", also for Audi; "Christmas is for sharing" for Sainsbury's and Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO; and Droga5's Puma ad "After hours athlete".
When speaking to Campaign about his approach to directing in 2017, after the release of "Clowns", Ledwidge said: "I always see myself as a guardian of an idea. I want to move the idea on and add to it, but then it’s just about guarding the idea if you can and making sure you keep that vision from start to finish. I try not to be an asshole. If I pass on scripts I try to tell people why."
Much of Ledwidge's work is award-winning. "Three little pigs" won a gold Lion for Film, one gold and five silver Lions for Film Craft, and a silver in the Titanium and Integrated at Cannes Lions in 2012.
After starting his career as a photojournalist, Ledwidge moved into directing in 1999 and was that year named a Campaign Face to Watch and won Best Young Director at Cannes Lions.
He co-founded Rattling Stick with Daniel Kleinman and Johnnie Frankel in 2006, which Campaign has named Production Company of the Year many times. Ledwidge's first feature film, Gone, was released in 2007.
In a piece about how to be a director, which he wrote for Campaign in 2015, Ledwidge said: "I still believe that stories well told rise above the mediocrity and, in turn, provoke, inspire and financially deliver. And there are just about enough agencies, creatives, directors and clients to keep that alive. This kind of work is still the work that makes the difference. Hopefully, that penny will drop for those who employ agencies and production companies alike."