Oh I agree with you that one can see a director’s style. I actually do have favorite directors because of their style. And I never claimed to be above their influence. Of course I am influenced by the story tellers I like. But there’s still a difference in my mind between getting influenced by visual story telling, and getting influenced by written story telling. It’s very easy to pick up and carry a writer’s flow and turn of phrase. It’s not so easy to do the same with a movie/video because you are translating it to a different medium. Stealing ideas, concepts and/or atmosphere is not the same as stealing a writer’s style.
I stole damn near everything for my Lone Digger story, but I am still confident that it’s my story in my style.