dont know about you but i am mainly an arthouse fan, so i think independent film is the answer and the only way to go.
But even if you want to work in studios, youshould start making films and get practise and then make a good short film or even feature if you have a great idea. i been making films for a while now and i do everything from fillming, an dwriting to sound. so you just need to get some practise and then get stuck into it. think creatively cause thats what will set u apart creative in story but also in making the film to keep the budget low. Digital is the answer! its cheap and efficient, if you want good quality i suggest a 3ccd sony camera, but otherwise any DV camera will do cause most short festivals do video.
My camera is a 3ccd camera and ppl have used worse to make feature films in sundance and some have won the cinematography award! But the thing is they spend like 100 000 dollars sometimes on film slike that and that is unnecessary. Think of ways to keep it cheap, use your creativity, cause that is something that Hollywood envies in the independent filmmaker.