Ever since an update earlier this year, Premiere started to flatten folders that contain just one item on import. What this means is, that when I have a folder named Day1 and it contains just one file 2022-08-10 02-42-17.mov for example and I drag and drop this folder into my project panel, instead of creating a folder called Day1 and importing the said .mov file into it, Premiere just omits the folder and imports the file straight into the root of the project structure.
By now, I am not sure if this is a bug or some "smart feature" that I need to turn off somewhere.
This behaviour is of course totally unintuitive and counterproductive, especially when the user wants to import a larger structure with multiple folders that contain just one file, but the name of the folder is descriptive of its contents.
Is this a bug? If yes, is there a workaround? Or is this a "feature?" And in that case, where can I turn it off?
Error or problem
User interface or workspaces
The behavior for when we import folders changed awhile ago and my best guess is that it's trying to give File > Import more of a Media Browser behavior.
The best work around that I have come up with is to take a screenshot (or use any still image file like PNG, JPEG, or TIFF - avoid layered PSD); name it "placeholder"; copy and paste it to each folder (so, if you have Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, etc. then paste placeholder.png into each folder); make a duplicate in each folder (so you have placeholder.png and placeholder copy.png) and then drag and drop the folder into the Project tab (or use File > Import). This should turn all the folders into Bins and only import the two files from the first folder. Delete the two instances of the PNG files from the project and save it and then delete the multiple instances of the PNG files from the Finder or Explorer.
If the files have unigue names (like the Day 1 folder has placeholder 1.png and placeholder 1 copy.png while the Day 2 folder has placeholder 2.png and placeholder 2 copy.png) then all the PNGs should import and the PNGs can be selected in Premiere Pro and File > Make Offline... used with Media Files Are Deleted to remove the PNG placeholder files.
The UserVoice request for this started in 2020 and definately could use more votes. See Phillip's post for the link.