What do you think you witnessed with these exorcisms?
In terms of what we witnessed, we filmed five exorcisms in one day, and we show three of them in the episode. They were definitely some of the most unusual experiences I’ve had filming something. I certainly believe that every person that Vincent, the exorcist, engaged with truly thought they had a demon inside of them. I’m not sure if Vincent truly believes that.
It is disturbing to watch because, for me, these people looked like they were being duped.
It was very clear to me that there were deeper issues that these people were grappling with, that they were distilling down to this simple concept of a devil or a demon being inside of them. It was an interesting way for them to… There’s some stuff that we didn’t include in the show. I feel like there could have been a whole documentary just on that day.
The reasoning that a lot of these people were meeting with Vincent… It was very clear to me that the reasons were very personal and very traumatic, and were probably best dealt with by a trained therapist or psychologist, and not an exorcist. This is what they felt that they needed in the moment, and this is the service that Vincent provides. We witnessed it as observers and it was intense. It was some yelling, some shirt ripping. There was some vomiting. It was a lot more intense than I thought it was going to be, in many ways.
So you weren’t convinced by the exorcism?
It was an unusual experience. I did not leave that shoot feeling convinced of anything. In fact, I left the shoot feeling very strongly in the opposite opinion, to a degree that I felt uncomfortable about some of the ways in which Vincent was interacting with these people.
Finally, I mentioned before that curses or hauntings on set can be great PR for a project. So did anything out of the ordinary happen while filming?
During one of the exorcisms, we had a light above one of the doors. This is a light we use throughout the entire shoot. At one point, Vincent walked out from behind the camera and put his hand on this person’s head, and was saying some sort of prayer and the light started blinking. I looked at Jared, my cinematographer, and he just shrugged his shoulders like he didn’t know what was going on. It’s in the show; you can see it blinking. As soon as it ended, the light went back to normal. We were like, what was that about? We didn’t necessarily think that there was a demon screwing with the circuits or anything, but it was… They do reveal the draw of that scenario, that we were so in it, that it weirded us out a little bit. It was definitely strange, the timing of that. But the whole day was strange. It was a weird day.