Recipes for Disaster; Webster; to be released

Recipes for Disaster

John Webster's Recipes for Disaster's first public screening at CBC Newsworld, Passionate Eye, Canada, on Sunday the 17th of Feb. at 10 pm. See their website for more information:


This is a film about climate change. About catastrophe. And it's funny, painfully funny. We love to blame the corporations and industries for what's going wrong with the planet, but we are mistaken. It's us, baby. You and me. We're the real bad guys.

This film shows that at the core of the impending climate catastrophe are those little failures that we as individuals make every day, and which are so much a part of human nature. All the everyday stuff that we don't do, or that we can't help doing, that eventually lead to destruction. The film shows thirteen of these little recipes for disaster.

We are addicted to oil and it's going to lead us to destruction. We consume so much oil that if it was oil pouring over Niagara Falls the deluge would last for 25 days. And that's only one year's consumption. Environmental warning lights are flashing like crazy, yet how do we respond? By consuming even more oil. We know it's not doing us any good, it's going to destroy everything we hold dear, but we can't stop. We just can't break free. Why?

Well, my family and I have decided to kick the habit.

We're going to oil detox. An oil celibacy. Call it what you like. This does not mean growing a beard, taking to wearing old woolly jumpers and moving into a cottage to grow organic turnips. The kids have school and my wife and I have jobs and a bank loan - just like everybody else. It's quite simple really: we go on with our average suburban lives but without using any fossil fuels, driving cars or flying in airplanes, or buying anything packaged in plastic, like food, make-up, shampoo, toothpaste, kids toys or those little plastic things that burst out of the Cornflakes.

We will be confronted by the depth of our oil addiction and no doubt face acute withdrawal symptoms. Our hearts will say one thing and our minds another and somehow, by using reason, logic, sound judgement and common sense, the heart always makes the mind do what the heart wants. And this is not always good for the planet. These are the recipes for disaster, the seemingly innocent failures that lead us, and other civilisations before us such as the Vikings of Greenland, to destruction.

A documentary film, a comedy of errors, about a subject too serious to ignore.

Production data

a film by John Webster
final title Recipes for Disaster
genre creative documentary
length 85' / 63'
shooting format HDV
delivery format HD, Digibeta 16:9
languages English, Finnish
production budget 586 000 EUR
production Millennium Film, Finland
  JW Documentaries, Finland
co-producers Magic Hour Films, Denmark
delegate producer Kristiina Pervilä
cinematographers John Webster, Tuomo Hutri
sound designer Pietari Koskinen
editor Niels Pagh Andersen

In co-operation with

YLE TV2 Documentaries IIKKA VEHKALAHTI, CHANNEL 4, CANAL+ Christine Cauquelin, Philippe de Bourbon, CBC Newsworld, Independent Documentary Unit, DIANE ROTTEAU, DR Mette Davidsen-Nielsen, NRK Tore Tomter, IBA Channel 1 Israel.

Production support

SES The Finnish Film Foundation RAILI SALMI, MIIA HAAVISTO, AVEK The Promotion Centre For Audiovisual Culture in Finland ULLA SIMONEN, DFI The Danish Film Institute MICHAEL HASLUND-CHRISTENSEN, Nordisk Film- & TV Fond EVA FÆREVAAG, The MEDIA Plus Programme of the European Community.

Production Schedule

development June 2004 - December 2005
production February 2006 - February 2007
post production August 2006 - September 2007
delivery December 2007