Fred Dekker had an interesting interview in issue #189 of the Dark Side. Dekker wrote and directed one of my favorite horror flicks of the 1980s called Night of the Creeps. He was asked to give advice for those wanting to make a career in film.
“To me, the key is surprise. Your script or film shouldn’t adhere to any pre-existing templates of the ‘right’ way to do it-fuck that. Take chances, but not in a way that alienates your audience. If it’s meaningful to you personally, and only offensive out of narrative necessity, do it. The worst thing you can do is bore an audience, and either you have a natural gift to avoid that or you will spend your life and career learning how.
Quentin Tarantino is a good example. Whether you like his work or not, he never toes the line. His choices are bold and audacious, and that’s what we love about him. I also look at someone like David Fincher, who did a million music videos before he directed a feature, and it reminds me you should take any gig you can because experience (good and bad) is your greatest ally. Same with writing. As Nike would say: Just Do It.”