David Knight - 22nd Oct 2021

Tributes have been pouring in on social media following the tragic news that Luke Biggins, director, DoP and executive producer of hundreds of music videos, has died suddenly.

His death has been greeted with shock and sadness among numerous colleagues in music video production, and also among many artists in the British black music community with whom he worked for years, making many music videos over a long period of time. 

As many people have recognised in their messages on social media, Luke Biggins played an important part in bringing British black music to a wider audience through his music videos, working tirelessly as a director and DoP, and also selflessly mentoring new talent to help them develop their own careers in the industry.

At the time of his death he was as hard-working as ever, having established his company Yellow Fish Media as a hub of music video production and creativity, with a stream of videos for artists such as MNEK, Rebecca Garton, Kamille, S1mba, Hardy Caprio, Ivorian Doll, Darkoo and more. Luke was directing, DoPing and executive producing - and mentoring a new generation of directors and producers, including directors Rebecca Creative and Kelvin Jones.

Artists, clients, directors, crew, all loved him.

Melissa Massey, producer, who worked with Luke at Yellow Fish, has commented on behalf of many of his close colleagues, telling Promonews: "Words cannot express the loss and pain in our hearts that we feel. Luke really was one in a million and touched so many people’s lives. He was always there for everyone with no judgment and an open heart and home.

"Nothing will quite be the same without Luke, as has been proved with the overwhelming amount of love that everyone has shown. We all know that Luke Biggins is irreplaceable and has left such a dark hole in this industry, creating opportunities for creatives, supporting young and up and coming individuals.

"He was more then just a colleague, but a father to his daughter Keziah, a friend and someone that you can confide in. An Angel that has left us all with a Biggins-shaped hole in our hearts. We will always love you."

Ben Mealing, producer on many jobs that Luke directed or DoP'd, and close friend, says: “Luke was an amazing friend and colleague to so many. So many tributes to him mention how without his unquestionable dedicated help, care, love and support, they wouldn’t be where they are today. He 100% contributed to shaping the industry we all know and work in.

"Artists, clients, directors, crew all loved him. Your shoot could go to shit (as sometimes does happen) and he’d be there shooting the best he could get, with a smile on his face. Undeterred. And at times a cost to himself. He’d offer his hand to help you up your mountain, and then step back to let you bask in the glory. Wasn’t interested in the fame, just the filming, that’s what he loved doing.

"The fact that he was amazing at it was the added bonus. He changed the game and helped carve the future paths of others, and yet he didn’t even realise he was doing it. He just wanted to film.”

Lisa Foo, freelance commissioner and director's rep at Marisa Garner Associates, who represented him for music videos, says: "Luke was one of a kind. He was incredibly talented and his work rate and videography over the past 15-plus years speaks volumes. He helped so many of today's top creatives get their break and has been a mentor to countless young and aspiring directors during his career.

"He was always willing to lend a helping hand, no matter how big or small and had the kindest and most gentle manner -which is very hard to come by in an industry filled with so much ego and competition. He has made such an impact in this game that his loss will be felt for many years to come. Luke truly was a legend. My thoughts are with his family, especially his daughter who he loved so much and was so proud of."

In an emotional post on Instagram, Ashleigh Jaydee describes him as her "film dad... I wouldn’t be where I am without him. But honestly, career aside. Luke’s heart was different, the definition of clean hearted. I’m honoured to have got to spend so much time with you. My mentor. Thank you for everything, love you Biggins 🤍"

Zoe Wheeler, who worked with Luke for a number of years and repped Yellow Fish directors through her company Eureka, says: "Luke was of course known for being an incredible DoP and Director and trusted by so many artists, managers and labels over the years. For me though, he was kind, thoughtful and inclusive and always put others before himself. He spotted and encouraged talent and went above and beyond to support new directors whether it be to involve them on shoots, loaning kit, providing expertise or even just lending an ear or a shoulder when they needed it. He always made time. Luke was a gentleman through and through, and someone whose memory I know will live on for years to come through the work of everyone he helped along the way."

Luke never blew his own trumpet and always put others first.

MNEK, Ghetts, Tinie, Kamille and Emeli Sandé are among the numerous artists who have posted messages on Twitter and elsewhere. Many have commented on his kindness and generosity, which made him a highly respected collaborator to many artists and fellow filmmakers. 

Among the many tributes on Twitter, Big Deal Films posted that Biggins was "responsible for so many careers behind the camera and a big driving force in the UK's Urban Music scene when it all kicked off." British broadcaster and writer Jasmine Dotiwala has written: "RIP Luke Biggins. An incredible creative who made some of the UK music industry's most notable videos. Artists and friends are terribly sad today and our heartfelt condolences go out to his family."

Dan Curwin, director of video at Atlantic Records UK, told Promonews: "Luke was one of the those talents who doesn’t come along very often. His skill as a director and as a DOP were amazing. The other part of what he gave to the industry was only known to people who knew and worked with him. This was mentoring and teaching young talent, especially people from underprivileged backgrounds and giving them a chance to break into the industry. Whether as a director or in production.

"He worked tirelessly doing this all hours of the day and I have seen him on set doing this even when he wasn’t working on specific jobs. He also had an amazing talent of gaining Artists’ trusts and many would reach out to him directly to make their visions become a reality. Luke never blew his own trumpet and always put others first. He was one of the kindest, gentlest and talented people I have worked with and I know there are hundreds of people out there who feel this way. What a tragic loss. RIP."

• Comments in tribute to Luke Biggins on Twitter here, and a selection below:

David Knight - 22nd Oct 2021

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