Strangely enough, the best series of books on
the life of a film director - as opposed to the craft -
are Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin Sea Saga
set during the Napoleonic Wars.
Being a captain of ship at this time of total
naval war is a lot like being a director in this
time of total media saturation in that time is
neatly divided between the times you have a
command (a film) and the times you don't.
When you don't have a film (a ship), everything
becomes about obtaining your next project (command);
and then when you finally get a project, you are not
so much in control - at least not if your budgets are as
small as mine were on NIGHTINGALE IN A MUSIC
BOX and BLACK MAIL - as in a dance with chaos.
Ship's captains of that time were in a similar position
of having absolute authority - but only authority to
improvise in dealing with the chaos that the sea,
the weather and the enemy dealt their way.
Of course in the end, both captains and directors are
held responsible for the final results as if they really
did have control over the process.
Those made to be captains and filmmakers would not
trade the life for any other.
The first of the series is MASTER & COMMANDER.