That quote may seem trite, but the more directors you talk to, the more you hear this sentiment echoed. Doug Liman recently said something to the extent of, "most directing is saying, 'faster.'" And while I had a chance to ask director David Cronenberg a few questions a decade ago at the Telluride Film Festival, that was so long ago that I don't remember any specific quotes. However, here are AFI and DP/30 with interviews with Cronenberg, whose latest is A Dangerous Method:
No one is saying directing is simple or easy, but much of it is casting, which Cronenberg calls "a black art." Then, "with any actor, there's a lot of prep, a lot of directing happens before you say 'action' and 'cut.'"
"An independent movie takes a long time to put together... " Yup.