Moments before her death, a mother gives birth to Lucifer's child then begs a servant of the Lord to save her baby. The rescued child is secretly raised by two fathers who teach it to love and defend humanity from all forms of evil, natural and supernatural.
The child is a girl, her name is Lilith, and she becomes the most powerful exorcist in existence. Added bonus: she is a fierce martial arts fighter by the time she is a teen.
This is the story behind the new series Demon X. Created, written and co-directed by Supernatural's Production Coordinator, Jason Fischer, Demon X was released on January 21, 2019 by Jason's production company, Frostbite Pictures. Besides Jason and the obvious genre and subject correlations, Demon X has strong ties to Supernatural and the Supernatural Family. Three of its four lead actors have had multiple roles on Supernatural, including fan favorite Osric Chau (Kevin Tran) who plays Lilith's evil counterpart, Damien. Members of Demon X's production team are also Supernatural alums.
Demon X puts a different spin on the classic demonic characters of Lucifer, Damien and Lilith. The hero in this good vs. evil battle is a strong, young woman who has advanced fight training and knowledge of occult lore but is struggling with her demonic lineage, and thus her place in the world. The series' format is also non-traditional by network television standards. Season 1 consists of 10 one-scene episodes, ranging in length from 5 to 8 minutes each. Hence, the entire season can be binged in just under one hour. It is also only available online, easily found through multiple streaming channels and subscription services.
Jason and the Demon X cast shared their thoughts on the series, their characters and Supernatural with The Winchester Family Business' Nightsky in this exclusive two-part interview! In Part 1, Jason talks about the creation, casting, filming and future of Demon X.
Jason Fischer with Gabe Correa (Assistant Director on Supernatural 2007-2017) on the Demon X set
Thank you for talking with me! Having worked on Supernatural, Divine: The Series, and Blade: Trinity, the topics of religion and the supernatural are obviously very familiar to you. What specifically inspired you to write the story behind Demon X? Has the story changed at all from how you initially envisioned it?
Religion, and perhaps more specifically the idea of good vs evil, has been a theme running pretty central in both my day to day work in unionized film and also in the independent world with the passion projects I have devoted most of my creative energy to. I think exploring that theme within the context of an overall religious framework continues to be a draw for me. Starting with that thematically, I pieced together the general story points for Demon X and explored the idea of Satan’s daughter, rather than as has traditionally been done with his son, as the central character to wrap the story around. Then I thought of flipping the whole thing to have Lilith act as the protagonist, and instead of being evil, have her actually be saved and fighting with the good guys.
That was my starting point creatively. The story certainly changed substantially over numerous drafts - the logistics of budget and time being the key factors in writing the elements within a specific filmable context. The input of actors, other individuals' opinions who I trust, and simply sitting back and reimagining the concept / story over time, meant the storyline unfolded and altered itself numerous times.
The names “Lilith” and “Damien” have long been associated with satanic lore. What (if any) research did you do while choosing the characters for your story?
Cassandra Ebner as Lilith
Osric Chau as Damien (Demon X IMDB)
I did research the names of Satan’s offspring and came across the lore you speak of. I played with a number of different possibilities in regards to both of his children and ultimately came to like these two names the best. For whatever reason, they resonated more with me than the other options, as did the meaning behind both names.
Is there any significance to the specific priests or the “society” in your story?
J Douglas Stewart as Father David (Demon X IMDB)
There is most certainly a significance and deeper meaning to both the priests and the society or sect they belong to. We have a side story already written that involves webcams and a small camera shoot to flush out more of that whole storyline around the priests. I am hopeful we can shoot that in conjunction with a potential season 2 to really flush out the story more. It’s tough telling a story of this magnitude and scope within smaller vignette style episodes that are only 5 minutes long.
You wrote, produced and directed Demon X. What was it like to have so much creative control of the series? What new experiences did it open up for you?
Jason Fischer with Nolan McNaughton, Sound Mixer
It was very challenging to wear so many hats creatively to be honest. Luckily, Matthew Campbell did the lion’s share of the directing and had the more technically difficult episodes to shoot. He has a strong background in action style directing and really brought that and so much more to the table for the series. This allowed me to look at those episodes from both a writing and Executive Producer point of view and be a little removed to try and view those episodes as a viewer would. I think that becomes the biggest challenge with creators who take on numerous roles within a project - essentially, maintaining some level of independence and objectivity from your creation. I try to be fairly open to suggestion and criticism during the process but it does become harder when any change resonates not just on the writing but also on the visual and financial elements of the process. When you are responsible for all three, I think some resistance plays into your decision making as change creates work across three areas rather than one, if you were to be responsible for only one area.
How long has DemonX been in the making? Please tell us about getting it released on Amazon Prime.
I’ve been working on the idea and series for coming up on four years. The initial concept was first turned into a concept trailer and was initially put online as part of an application for funding with the IPF (Independent Production Fund). Myself and Frostbite’s Communication Director Kristin Jackson, pushed the trailer hard on social media and with the help of fans and some of the actors we were able to garner around 65,000 views. From there we went through the application process and funding proposals for the series and that was approximately another year. After that, we soft prepped the show – cast, locations, stunt training, script revisions, talked with key crew and waited until I was on hiatus before shooting. That was another year. It sounds like a long time but when you’re working mainly evenings and weekends with a 60+ hour a week day job, the time gets eaten up pretty quickly. I get tired just thinking about it.
In terms of the show's release, we are now on Amazon, YouTube, Vimeo, SeekaTV and a YouTube channel dedicated to short form series called Shareable. The main idea with a self-release style distribution is to get the series out everywhere that your potential fans will hopefully see and connect with it and that’s exactly what we are doing.
Supernatural fans know Osric Chau as Kevin Tran (season 7 onward). Did you originally have Osric in mind for the role of Damien?
I did know of Osric’s martial arts background and obviously his role on Supernatural but it took a little time for me to see him in the role of Damien. I’ve only been familiar with Osric in more amenable acting roles. I don’t think I’ve seen him play the antagonist prior to Demon X. I can tell you that I am so glad he accepted the role and that I thought of him in it. He did an amazing job and brought a chilling and somehow humorous element to the character.
Cassandra Ebner (Lilith) has been on Supernatural several times as a stunt double (and will appear in season 14 as a guest star), and J. Douglas Stewart (Fr. David) was a sheriff in “Trial and Error” (8.14). How did they become involved as leads in your series?
The other leads [Cassandra, Patrick and Douglas] were chosen in a much more traditional fashion. They auditioned for the role by reading sides of their characters in the auditions. We also took the additional step of having both Cassandra and Patrick submit stunt / fight auditions. Cassandra played Laura Croft in a fan style short that I watched on YouTube and she was amazing in it and did all her own stunts, which was exactly what she did in Demon X as well.
Patrick Gerber as Father Adrian
Patrick submitted a shirtless self-tape of his acrobatic style martial arts and with that he solidified the role.
I see that Ryan Curtis (Visual Effects Coordinator for Supernatural seasons 8-10) was your Demon X Visual Effects Supervisor. Was anyone else from Supernatural involved in your project?
Kirk Jaques was our Stunt and Fight Choreographer on the series and did a phenomenal job. Kirk literally trained with the lead cast for months prior to filming.
Kirk Jaques and Cassandra Ebner
He is an amazing martial artist is his own right and brought a lifetime of experience to the show. He worked on weapons training, fight choreography and intricately planned the stunt sequences that you see in the series. I can say without reservation that the show truly wouldn’t have been anywhere near as dynamic visually without his involvement.
[Editor Update: After the interview, I learned that C. Ernst Harth, who plays a doomed virgin in DemonX, is also #SPNFamily! He played a demon sloth in Supernatural's 3.01 "The Magnificent Seven"!]
Do you have any stories for us about filming the series, e.g. fun, unusual or difficult experiences on set?
Jason Fischer and Kirk Jaques at Bridge Studios
There are always a ton of stories from set, most especially when it is such a tight, hard working and fun group of people that we were blessed to have on this production. I could tell you about feeling guilty for Douglas who had to literally hang around on a cross for almost a day so I went to a SPFX shop and picked up some dummies. I may have even dressed him and put him in the passengers seat so I could drive back to set in the HOV lane - the dummy, not Douglas.
"Goo Day" on set with Cassandra Ebner, Kristin Jackson, Mathew Campbell, and Fanta Sesay (Demon)
I could mention the day we created the black goo and the goo bomb that nailed Cassandra. I didn’t really feel all that guilty, though, especially after she chased me down and gave me a big hug all covered in goo. Perhaps you want to hear about the day Patrick walked around set with a large sword sticking out of his chest. That made for some interesting selfies with the crew. I’m hoping he gets to come to a festival and wear that wardrobe. There honestly were a ton of stories and memories to last a lifetime.
IMDB lists you as a “Background Performer” for all 10 episodes. Where can fans find you in the scenes?
I wasn’t in all 10 eps as a background performer so I’ll have to get that corrected. I was in one episode as a dead priest. It may seem easy but I can tell you laying on a stack of bibles motionless for what seemed like an eternity was harder than it looked. I was also in a scene with Matt Hall / Producer and Julian Bieber /PC as members of X squad. We suited up in our swat gear and got shot coming down a hallway as part of an ambush scene.
X Squad's promotional photo for Demon X's screening at dieSeriale Webfest in Germany.
The series will also appear at Hollyweb Festival on March 28th.
The name of the series is Demon X, Demon Exorcist, and the synopsis talks about Lilith being an exorcist, but that wasn’t extensively explored in season 1. Is that still to be developed? What is the future of Demon X?
The toughest part of telling a story in short form serialized content is time. There is never enough of it. What we did with Demon X in the first season arc was tell the origin story of Lilith and essentially set-up the conflict between her and Damien. There is an absolute ton of character and story development we simply couldn’t cover in the first season that I would love to explore further in future seasons, one of the main ones being Lilith’s development as she begins to understand and use her powers. We saw glimpses of what she was capable of doing but not even she has discerned her true capabilities.
The future would be additional short form seasons or, God / Devil willing, moving it to a more traditional long form series. This requires viewers and a significant budget adjustment, of course. I would love to be able to really flush out the story and the characters behind it for all involved. So please keep watching, and equally as important, please share with others and help us convert new fans.
Any new projects on the horizon for your production company, Frostbite Pictures?
Indeed we do. Our intrepid CEO and creative genius Ivan Hayden is developing and has shot some of his new vertically integrated series Scales of Justice. It’s a very cool concept and is being shot in a vertical format to playback on mobile devices without the need of horizontally adjusting your phone / iPad, etc. Stay tuned and you will see updates and episodes coming out shortly.
Part 2 of WFB's Demon X interview features chats with the series' cast!
Unless otherwise indicated, photos were supplied by Jason Fischer or were reproduced from the Demon X Facebook page.
You can also follow Demon X series on Twitter: @DemonXSeries
You can follow the Demon X team on Twitter: @JasonFischer77, @OsricChau, @CassandraEbner, @PatrickGerber88, @DoogStewart, @KirkJaques
Read other interviews with Supernatural's cast, executive and production teams in The WFB Article Archives: Interviews.