David Reviews

 "You're not an artist, Peggy. You solve problems." Don Draper.

RINGAN
22 November 2021

In Paul Simon's song 'The Late Great Johnny Ace', he describes how he learned from a stranger of his friend John Lennon's death. Simon perfectly captures the sense of swooning disbelief which possesses us when we are told something so shocking that it completely overwhelms our senses. So it was in Berlin when I was told – by a friend, not a stranger – that Ringan Ledwidge had just died.

I didn't really know Ringan that well. His was always a welcome face to see across the room at advertising industry events, and inevitably we'd talk about the possibility of catching up properly... which we'd never do.

I remember the first time I met him. He wasn't at all what I expected. By itself, his unusual name created an idea in my head of someone with that brittle self-assurance provided by a single-sex public school education. Instead, to my huge relief, I met this surprisingly shy, polite, quietly spoken man with an accent suggesting that the only time he'd been to a public school was to deliver something from the back of a white van.

We'd met because Ringan was taking part in a panel I'd organised for Thinkbox. The topic was the 'director dividend' and Ringan sat alongside Dougal Wilson, Siri Bunford and James Rouse. My abiding memory of his contribution that day was of someone slightly baffled that anyone would care what he thought. But he was funny, self-deprecating and notably generous about the collaborative nature of film-making.

At Ciclope in Berlin, the terrible news spread like a virus, and you could see the hurt in the pinched faces of those who had just learned the news. Most distressed were his Rattling Stick family, and they understandably hurried home to be anywhere other than where they'd been when they heard. They knew he had been ill, but this didn't lessen the devastation one little bit.

The second time Ringan appeared on a panel for me was at a CraftWorks at the LSE, where, among others, he sat alongside former Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger; Droga's David Kolbusz; and Dav Karbassioun.

We were talking about the 2012 'Three Little Pigs' commercial, and I fondly recall Ringan's riposte when I described Dav as the "unsung hero" of the project... after half a beat, Ringan gruffly observed that Dav was "quite sung actually", and the resulting laughter from panel and audience alike took the discussion into that zone of reminisce and playful recrimination that makes these reunions so much fun.

Afterwards, Ringan had a beer and a chat with anyone who wanted to talk to him. This shouldn't be a big deal really, but the reverence the industry shows to its 'stars' sometimes prompts them to think they're above that sort of thing, and it's always enormously gratifying when you discover that someone doesn't see it that way... and Ringan definitely didn't.

The word we often use to describe our feelings of grief and loss at a time like this is "unbelievable". It's the right word, and it's literal. Right now, I cannot really believe that I won't see Ringan again.

For those closest to him, this will take on an agonising form as – on learning about some trivial thing or other – they find themselves thinking : "I must tell Ringan that!"... before realising that they can't.

It's the nature of mortality that none of our stories have happy endings, but for most of us, our stories will, at least, be more or less complete. Ringan was just 50. He was born in 1971 – a year of that many of us remember happening. His story was desperately incomplete.

The only consolation for his friends, and it really isn't much, comes from knowing that the sense of loss they feel comes from knowing that he was important to them... and that they were important to him. And knowing, because of that, that if they were given a choice between suffering the agony of this loss, or avoiding it by never having known him... that they'd take the pain in a heartbeat. It's not much, but it's not nothing.

News

FRESH FILM ADD EMMA MIRANDA MOORE

Fresh Film have added astute director Emma Miranda Moore to their roster.


SCÉAL JOIN CURATE FILMS.

Irish filmmaking duo Mark Daly and Lorraine Nolan (aka Scéal) have joined Curate Films for commercial representation.


HELLO LOVE DOUBLE THEIR PLEASURE.

Directors Arthur Valverde and João Rito have bolstered the ranks at Hello Love.


AMELIA HASHEMI JOINS MINDSEYE.

The new year has brought a new director to MindsEye in the form of Amelia Hashemi.


CAMILA ZAPIOLA PARTNERS WITH STINK.

Argentine comedy director Camila Zapiola has joined Stink for representation in the US, Brazil, Asia, and the Czech Republic.


BFI: AROUND JAPAN WITH A CAMERA.

Music production agency Goldstein play a key role in the British Film Institute's new Tokinokawa installation.


FILM KLAXON: TORN

Fresh Film's Max Lowe directs a feature-length documentary about the death of his father Alex.


CURATE ENLIST LUCY BLAKSTAD.

Award-winning filmmaker Lucy Blakstad has joined Curate for commercial representation.


ELENA DE PALMA IS TENTHREE AT LAST.

tenthree have completed the signing of Elena De Palma to their editing roster.


FILM KLAXON: MARK ALBISTON'S DATSUN.

To describe a car as a character may be trite, but it applies to Sweetshop director Mark Albiston’s new short film.


FRIEND LONDON WELCOME ALEX GARGOT.

Spanish filmmaker Alex Gargot has joined FRIEND London’s music video roster.


HENRY OLIVER JOINS MINDSEYE

MindsEye have added director Henry Oliver to their promo wing for representation.


TV KLAXON: CAVIAR'S JODY HILL DIRECTS THE RIGHTEOUS GEMSTONES.

Dysfunctional TV families are all the rage right now (cough—Succession—cough), so it’s a good time for season two for The Righteous Gemstones to appear.


THREE-NIL TO THE MILL.

The Mill have three new directors in their midst: Rauri Cantelo, Nevil Bernard, and Tim Fox.


TV KLAXON: CRIME.

76 Ltd director James Strong likes a one-word title. After Liar and Vigil comes Crime, a six-part adaptation of Irvine Welsh's novel of the same name.


FRIENDS ELECTRIC PLAY THE FRAME GAME.

Danish motion design studio Frame have completed their move to Friends Electric.


IT'S TAOS/S FOR RATTLING STICK.

Siblings Aaron and Winston Tao aka taos/s have joined the UK directing roster at Rattling Stick.


FILM KLAXON: THE IMPATIENT MAN

A new comedy short from director Louis Norton shows not everyone embraced mindfulness and stoicism during lockdown.


AMBITIOUS START-UP CREATORS INC OPENS IN LONDON

Jani Guest's ambitious venture Creators Inc has flung open its London doors.


TV KLAXON: 'THE HOUSE' BY NEXUS STUDIOS

Fans of David Olusoga's A House Through Time have a stop-motion-animated treat in store.


FREDDIE LEYDEN HEADS TO THE VISIONARIES

The Visionaries have added discerning director Freddie Leyden to their ranks for representation on a freelance basis.


ABSOLUTE SCORE THREE.

Patrick Keogh, Rasel Hussain, and Risto Puukko have joined the CG wing at Absolute.


CHARLIE MORETON JOINS THE ASSEMBLY ROOMS

The Assembly Rooms have added editor Charlie Moreton to their esteemed roster.


MISSING LINK FILMS SIGN ABENA TAYLOR-SMITH.

Up-and-coming director Abena Taylor-Smith has commercials in her sights as part of the Missing Link Films roster.


RIFF RAFF FILMS ENLIST TANU MUIÑO.

In-form promo director Tanu Muiño has completed her move to Riff Raff Films for UK/Dutch representation.


News

Address: Woodbourne House, Seven Sisters, Lenzie, G66 3AW. Telephone: +44 141 776 7766. Editor: Jason Stone.