The greatest, and more emotionally charged works of film in particular, are the pieces that dispense with the obscene use of some particular facet, like the rule of cool, or beautiful people, or gore–When you can dial back the an overly used factor, to show fear, lust, love, failure–anything that may contrast the common tropes within your work; that work forms a unique mask. Unpopular as this opinion as it might be, I find it important to consider.
For instance, not all characters need to be chiselled jawed hunks, or bosomy bouncies–contrasting them with other physiques, personae, and not cliche characteristics can be useful for fleshing out and emphasizing the chiselled chiselness of Mr. Chisel and the like.
Moreover, if one’s work involves a lot of ‘intense, dark’ mettaaal’ sort of looks, circling back a tad and adding unexpected musical scores, personae, and contrastive appearances creates a unique experience. Such as people who don’t ‘look’ dark, can be more intimidating than those who do, likewise, having one or two people who have this ‘darrrk’ look about them become more prominent and interesting.
Really, one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever used is restraint, without it, my works would be nothing but self-indulgent (beyond what they already are), cyclical daydreams. Protags would be just ‘stoic badasses’ and ‘messages’ would be put on high volume. Boring and annoying. Uninteresting. More interesting: inject multiple view points. Contrasting ideologies, kill off characters (appropriately not just for the ‘shock’), have protags screw up, lighten up the color (in film and it’s a grim story), show character not just cliche indulgences.
It may be good to also state, from my experiences, while your work is your own, and thus, an imprint of yourself to some capacity, hiding your fingerprints, will cause your work to feel independent of you, and not an echo-chamber.