|Born||September 17, 1982|
Plantation, Florida, U.S.
|Alma mater||Florida State University (BFA)|
Gioulakis was born in Plantation, Florida, and grew up outside Fort Lauderdale. He started playing trumpet from a young age, as his mother and father both studied music at Boston University and Berklee College of Music, respectively. His father, Dinos, was born in Athens and grew up in Nikaia, Greece. During his senior year of high school, Gioulakis went to Interlocken Center for the Arts, an "arts and musical boarding school," focusing on trumpet performance and minoring in photography. He changed career paths after being inspired by the photography of Gregory Crewdson, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Charlie White, and Erwin Olaf. He attended Florida State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.
Early years and It Follows (2007–2014)
Shortly after his graduation from FSU, Gioulakis made a "no-budget" feature near Philadelphia with friends, then moved to New York where he shot short films, music videos, and worked as a gaffer on some feature films and commercials for companies like Samsung and IBM. After "several years" of work in New York, he moved to Los Angeles shortly before the 2007–08 Writers Guild of America strike. He worked in lighting on television series and "stopped pursuing DP work", opting to use the experience to learn as many strategies and problem-solving methods as possible.
In 2010, Gioulakis was contacted to serve as cinematographer for Don Coscarelli's film John Dies at the End, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. This job led to him shooting several more independent feature films, including Dustin Guy Defa's Bad Fever in 2011 and Mike Ott's Pearlblossom Hwy in 2012.
He was hired to shoot the 2014 horror film It Follows. Gioulakis spoke with director David Robert Mitchell on the visual references they wanted to invoke for It Follows, including the films of director John Carpenter, the films Paris, Texas, Blue Velvet, and Rear Window, and the photography of Gregory Crewdson. According to Gioulakis, "about 90 percent" of the film was shot using the Arri Alexa camera, with a Red Epic being utilized for shots requiring a smaller rig. The primary lenses used for filming were the Cooke Optics S4s, with an 18mm lens used for "maybe 80 percent of the film". An Angénieux lens and Arri's Alura lens were also used. For his work, Gioulakis received a nomination for Best Cinematography at the 31st Independent Spirit Awards. The same year, Gioulakis again collaborated with Ott to shoot Lake Los Angeles.
Continued success (2015–present)
After finishing It Follows, Gioulakis was hired to shoot director M. Night Shyamalan's 2016 film Split. Gioulakis roomed with Shyamalan in Philadelphia and watched various films for visual inspiration, including Michael Haneke's Caché and Yorgos Lanthimos' Dogtooth. Shyamalan noted that a particular style borrowed from Dogtooth was "a character just standing up out of frame or walking out, or you see just their shoulder". The film premiered at Fantastic Fest on September 26, 2016, before being theatrically released in the United States on January 20, 2017. In 2017, he collaborated with Ott a third time to shoot California Dreams.
Gioulakis re-teamed with Mitchell to shoot the neo-noir film Under the Silver Lake which premiered at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, where it competed for the Palme d'Or. It is scheduled to be released in the United States on April 19, 2019, over a year after its Cannes premiere. Gioulakis also re-teamed with Shyamalan to lens Split's sequel Glass, which was released in the United States on January 17, 2019. Also in 2019, he served as cinematographer for director Jordan Peele's horror film Us, which premiered at South by Southwest on March 8, 2019, before being released in the United States on March 22, 2019. During a late scene in the film, Gioulakis used a split-focus diopter effect, which was compared to Brian De Palma's style and filmography.
|Denotes projects that have not yet been released|
|2011||Bad Fever||Dustin Guy Defa|||
|2012||John Dies at the End||Don Coscarelli|||
|Pearblossom Hwy||Mike Ott|||
|2014||It Follows||David Robert Mitchell||Nominated – Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography|||
|Lake Los Angeles||Mike Ott|||
|2016||Split||M. Night Shyamalan|||
|2017||California Dreams||Mike Ott|||
|2018||Under the Silver Lake||David Robert Mitchell|||
|2019||Glass||M. Night Shyamalan|||
|2021||The Eyes of Tammy Faye||Michael Showalter||Post-production|||
|Old||M. Night Shyamalan||Post-production|||
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- "Michael Gioulakis" (PDF). Gersh. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
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