top of page


Familiarity breeds contempt. Aesop

If you’ve ever felt like you don’t get the attention or respect or rewards that you deserve from the people who know you well, you’re not alone and today I’ll be looking at some of the reasons why.

I don’t want to get all religious on you in case it scares you off but the context is relevant to what I’ll be discussing today. The phrase “a prophet is not without honor save in his own country” is spoken by Jesus in the Bible passage Mark 6:4 in reference to the fact that the people of Nazareth refused to believe in him as a prophet.

Maybe you’ve even heard the saying that “no one is a prophet in their own land?” which has its origins in Luke 4:24.

Or “For Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country” (John 4:44).

I first heard it as “the prophet is not recognized in his own land” but it all amounts to the same thing. That to win respect as a figure of authority or knowledge within your own community, is a very difficult thing, as the people there will not feel like you have the right to preach to them. This could be within a family dynamic a work environment or even within an industry. I have sometimes come across it within film and television projects.

Time and again I bump into creative folk that work really hard at what they do and have a recognizable talent, but they can never seem to get an even break when it comes to funding or even get an interview for a gig in their home country, but who gain success and notoriety abroad. I see them struggle and fret and rage quietly, I’ve done it myself on occasional although I’d obviously never say I was prophetic, but I’ve had my sills and experience dismissed in favor of someone else’s idea just because that person is not known within that community.

Bryan Larkin and I made a short film called Dead End, he’s off making more of them now as he’s trying to pull together a feature but I’m not involved in those ones - that Dead End did extremely well on the international film festival circuit. It was accepted into 30 international festivals, was nominated for multiple awards in 22 of them and came away with a total of 51 wins including Best Director for myself and best Actor and editor for Bryan(he’s an excellent editor) and several wins here and there for best film. Do you know how many festivals we were successfully accepted into in Scotland? None. Not one. Now we didn’t apply for many it should be said I think it was 3 but we were completely snubbed. The film was shot in Hong Kong, and in London with additional pickup scenes in Glasgow and in LA believe it or not, and was a truly international affair shot on a budget of wait for it – zero - but it had considerable success on that international stage. This is A-Typical of my experience of this sort of thing, although I must say the Edinburgh International Film Festival has been a tremendous support to me over the years and I wouldn’t want to tarnish that.

Another example of this could be this podcast. Something like zero point 5 % of listeners are from Scotland. I just can’t get local people to listen in great numbers, but worse than that is that the number of people that I work with on a regular basis that listen to the show is in the region of none at all.

I have twice gone to the bother of getting cards printed up to promote the show but I tell you this. My handing a card to someone I work with regularly with links to the show and 5-star reviews on it is pretty much guaranteed to ensure that they will never listen to it. In my experience.

If you’re laughing because this sort of thing has happened to you, you’re not alone. It’s so common that we’ve all probably experienced one or both sides of it yet, yet it can be exceptionally hard to defeat… And it can drive you bonkers because you’re pretty sure that what you’re sharing is worthwhile, if you’d only be taken seriously that is - and this experience defeatedly sows seeds of doubt in your abilities.

Haters only hate things they can't have and the people they can't be. It's just a little thing called jealousy. Lil Wayne

There are two specific reasons for this that I can identify. One is jealousy and the other is familiarity. It’s been said that you can only be jealous of someone who has something you think you ought to have yourself. There will always be peers that are jealous of your success or your hard effort. There are jealous people it there and they will cause trouble make up stories and work behind your back to ensure that your success is limited. If they could they’d have you disappear from their lives.

Know that whoever is trying to bring you down, is already below you. Boonaa Mohammed

If jealousy is the first reason, then that is born of familiarity. Which is the backbone of this whole thing.

So, if you find yourself the getting nowhere with a project or an idea or think you are just not getting through to the people you know you may just have to broaden your horizons. This could be doing something like taking your podcast say, and moving it over to YouTube, it could mean that you need to stop aiming at a local audience and have to start courting an international one. I’ve worked abroad many times and have always felt welcome there too so if you really want to broaden horizons see what you can do internationally.

You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore. William Faulkner

Taking your ideas or projects elsewhere may not make any difference if they are genuinely no good, which I have to tell you folks a lot of them may just be crap but a new platform will at least give you valuable feedback that’s less biased, help you determine your ideas’ worth, and help you to refine them.

I hope that my tackling this subject helps you realize that you’re pretty normal for feeling this way and having these experiences. It won’t make you any less frustrated when you experience things like this but it’ll let you know that you’re not alone.

Call to Action

If you have liked what you have heard here and have an idea for a future episode I’d love to hear from you. You can contact me via the official website at contact or via twitter @filmproprodpod or via Facebook @filmproproductivity. If you are struggling with something there’s a good chance that someone else is to so I’d love to hear from you.

In next weeks show I’ll be following the advice of one of my listeners and revisiting the subject of toxic people and how to deal with them. In the meantime…

Let me end with this old adage. I don’t know he original source but it’s entirely relevant to todays lesson - “…don’t go fishing where the fish don’t bite…”


This episode is sponsored by Anne Lehmann

Season 8 Executive Producer: David Richard Thompson


Instagram: @daudspeaks


-IPF- Support Parkour Teachers Teaching Globally… a fundraiser (Including 12 video clips of some of our Peace Through Parkour Ambassador teachers and others)



A Himitsu Music: Adventures by A Himitsu


— Attribution 3.0 Unported— CC BY 3.0

Music released by Argofox

Music provided by Audio Library –––


bottom of page