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Depeche Mode 'People Are Good' by Rich Hall

Rob Ulitski - 9th Apr 2024

They have been making great videos for decades, and arguably the greatest music video band of all time. No pressure then, for Rich Hall, to direct a worthy addition to the great canon of work for Depeche Mode. But he has risen to the challenge.

For People Are Good, the latest single from the latest album Memento Mori, the Riff Raff Films-based director has faced down the weight of 40-plus years of Depeche Mode music video history, with a promo which nods to the visual style that has become their hallmark, while establishing its own heartfelt identity.

Combining stylishness, brilliant film craft with a considered exposition of the theme of the song, Hall has created a series of intensely dramatic vignettes, shot in black and white by DoP Martin Ruhe, in a heightened cinematic, dreamlike reality.

In each one we are confronted with a seeming act of wrongdoing or human frailty - expressed in the human pile-up of a riot, a woman digging a grave, a confrontation of macho gang bosses, and so on - each taking palce in front of a white wall. Then the true reality in each situation is gradually revealed. It's a counterpoint to Dave Gahan's somewhat ambivalent vocals for People Are Good. 

The video is evocative and bold, exploring the complex nature of human beings in a unique and distinctive way. And it really is a worthy addition to the pantheon - all the more impressive for the short amount of time that Rich Hall and his team had for pre-production and the shoot itself.

“It’s equal parts an honour and daunting when making a video for Depeche Mode," says Hall. "Not only do they have music video royalty behind them, but even Riff Raff have churned out some outstanding videos themselves for the band in recent times (Personal Jesus, Wagging Tongue). Throw a world class DoP like Martin Ruhe into the mix, 8 days prep and 1 shoot day then you’ve got a real mind f***.

"I wanted to make an idea that changes multiple times during the video, as if unravelling with the song and our understanding of it. The song reminded me of the fragility of human relationships, how easy we forget, how easily we’re misled. So, I came up with the idea to somehow immortalize those every day, human interactions, in front of a white wall and heighten them to the extent that they feel like art (well, sort of).

"It wouldn’t be possible without the unwavering support of Riff Raff, Black Kite, and the good people at Columbia US. Not to mention the amazing crew, especially the ones who were unloading dirt into a fake grave at midnight - you know who you are.” 

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Rob Ulitski - 9th Apr 2024


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Rich Hall
Manoela Chiabai
Production Company
Executive Producer
Precious Mahaga
Executive Producer
Natalie Arnett
1st AD
Chris Kelly


Director of Photography
Martin Ruhe


Production designer
Louis Simonon


Ellie Walker
Hair & Make-up
Dasha Taivas


Movement Director
Mikey Boateng


Leanne Flinn


Ben Corfield
Editing company


Rich Fearon


Post production company


Director's Representation

Rob Ulitski - 9th Apr 2024

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