In the late 1970s, as renegade filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola struggles to complete an epic allegory of the Vietnam War, "Apocalypse Now," his wife, Eleanor, films his daily travails with a camera of her own. The documentary based on her footage details the difficulties of the large production -- from weather-related delays in the Philippines to star Martin Sheen's heart attack while filming -- and it provides unprecedented behind-the-scenes clips of one of Hollywood's most-acclaimed films.
German director Werner Herzog begins work on his 1982 epic "Fitzcarraldo" but soon runs into serious setbacks, from casting problems to his own stubborn refusal to use special effects. After having to reshoot much of the film because the lead actor was recast, his crew must then haul an old-fashioned steamboat over a mountain using manpower alone. With a resolve bordering on insanity, Herzog struggles to realize his vision, vowing to see the film completed -- even if it leads to his undoing.
Visionary director Terry Gilliam has a dream. He wants to film the classic story of Don Quixote by recasting it as a trippy, time-traveling, mistaken-identity adventure with Johnny Depp as Quixote. After struggling for years to get financing, insurance and a cast in place, Gilliam travels to Spain and promptly watches his dream fall apart. From flash floods to cast no-shows to serious injuries, Gilliam and his crew suffer one setback after another.