Nearly one year ago, Hollywood lost one its most iconic talents when Wes Craven passed away on August 30, 2015, following a battle with brain cancer.

Though he was best known for his contributions to the horror genre, with such iconic films as Last House on the Left, The Hills Have Eyes, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Scream to his credit, Craven—who would have turned 77 years old today—wasn't afraid to experiment. He surprised audiences in 1999 when he directed the dramatic Music of the Heart, which earned two Oscar nominations, including one for Meryl Streep. But he embraced the role of master of horror, and his enthusiasm for the art of filmmaking was both evident and infectious, as evidenced by these quotes.

1. ON BREAKING IN

"I wasn’t even aware of film school when I started. The way we started, we were just a bunch of guys making films for the hell of it. We knew nobody in Hollywood, we knew nothing about Hollywood, and it was a shock to us we had to send our film off to this place called the MPAA. We were just doing movies."

From a 2013 interview with Film School Rejects

2. ON THE DANGERS OF FILM SCHOOL

"I didn’t see many films until I was in college teaching. Looking back now, if I went to film school, it probably would have helped knowing what the best of the best of foreign films were, but that wasn’t the case. In some ways, I think that led to my originality, because I hadn’t seen anybody else."

From a 2013 interview with Film School Rejects

3. ON THE POLITICS OF HOLLYWOOD

"Basically, I’ve found that if you have two films that don’t perform well it doesn’t matter that you’ve had a bunch of successful ones. The phone stops ringing, and after Deadly Blessing and Swamp Thing that’s what happened."

From a 2014 interview with Filmmaker Magazine

4. ON THE ORIGINS OF HORROR

"The first monster you have to scare the audience with is yourself."

5. ON BEING PIGEONHOLED

"When you have a name that means scares, you have to live with that."

From a 2005 interview with Tampa Bay Times

6. ON EMBRACING FAILURE

"You learn a lot more from those bumps than from when things are going great."

From a 2013 interview with Film School Rejects

7. ON FINAL CUT

"I’ve reached a place that many directors and filmmakers get to, and I’m grateful for that, and I can work within those boundaries. If something comes along that is totally outside of horror, fine, but I find there’s an immense amount of freedom within the genre."

From a 2009 interview with The A.V. Club

8. ON THE FUTURE OF CINEMA

"I think the experience of going to a theater and seeing a movie with a lot of people is still part of the transformational power of the film, and it's equivalent to the old shaman telling a story by the campfire to a bunch of people. That is a remarkable thing, if you scream and everyone else in the audience screams, you realize that your fears are not just within yourself, they're in other people as well, and that's strangely releasing. But on the TV, you can still watch it with friends. We watch films on so many different mediums now, that I think they'll complement each other for a long time."

From a 2013 interview with Arrow in the Head

9. ON THE CURRENT STATE OF THE HORROR GENRE

"Everybody's making horror films and, to me, not especially well. I don't know if it's [due to] the corporations taking over studios or what it is. But it really calls for some young filmmakers to come in and just do something from their hearts."

—From a 2005 interview with Tampa Bay Times

10. ON REFLECTION

"I try not to look back too much. I think the important thing about staying creative and staying sharp and original is not to look back too much, and to kind of look to where your vision is going now."

From a 2009 interview with The A.V. Club

An earlier version of this post ran in 2015.