Gabriel Cowan was originally a musician. At 18, he worked with Robbie Robertson to score the film Jimmy Hollywood and signed a contract with Geffen Records. He later formed a band with David Arquette that helped score Scream 2 and Scream 3. After an unfulfilling career in which he scored television commercials, Cowan returned to school and graduated with a master's degree in film directing. While at CalArts, he co-wrote and co-directed Breathing Room with John Suits, whom he met at film school. He also directed, shot, and produced Flower in the Gun Barrel, a documentary that explores the complexities of forgiveness and reconciliation in post genocide Rwanda. The film is produced by Amiee Clark and Monica Forouzesh, and is narrated by Martin Sheen. After graduating, Cowan directed Growth, which became the number one horror rental on iTunes. Cowan and Suits then collaborated on Extracted and Static, both of which Cowan co-produced and co-wrote.
Cowan grew up in Los Angeles. His grandfather created The $64,000 Question, and Spike Jonze is his 3rd cousin. Cowan's great-great-grandfather was Joseph Spiegel, the founder of the Spiegel Catalog. His great-grandfather, Modie J. Spiegel, eventually took over the catalog in 1893. Modie's brother, Arthur Spiegel, was the great-grandfather of Spike Jonez.
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