I got this comment after my last post about b-roll:
"When I'm training new photogs (or more commonly these days, MMJ's) I
always tell them to shoot with their ears. Interesting sounds will
always take you to interesting people and pictures."
That's from a fabulous photog named Rick Portier who used to shoot video for me and now does the same for other lucky reporters in Louisiana. Anyway, Rick raises a great point. A lot of your best b-roll comes with great nat sound, and as a result, gives you some great nat sound breaks from which to choose.
So this weekend, or on your day off, try this exercise. Take a pen and pad with you to the local mall. Walk the entire length of the mall and write down every sound you hear. Cash registers, kids riding those mechanical horses, makeup girls trying to sell you stuff, whatever. Do this until you have 100 pieces of sound.
Then take the list back and think about the video that went with each piece of sound. What would have made great b-roll? Great nat-sound breaks? Think about the writing opportunities... specifically, how could you have written into or out of these pieces of sound?
Training your ears as well as your eyes will help you take your packages to the next level and make them more interesting. For the next few weekends, try this and eventually it will become second nature.