I have a few huge files which only have a tiny bit of stuff I want to use. ONce I'm finished my project I'll want to get rid of the wasted space in those files rather than store huge amounts of data. For example I may use only 20 mb out of a 3Gb file. Is there any way to do that in Premiere, or do I somehow cut up those huge files into smaller chunks and get rid of the chunks I don't need. This will take hours to do manually.
The NLE ( non destructive linear editing ) means you use the source material to get little chunks out of bigger files into the timeline as you like, and then export your product ( create new file as a representation of your 'edit' for viewing usually ).
If, after you have chosen what parts of the big file you want to use, you delete from your hard drive the original source stuff ( to save space on HD ) you will lose your project altogether, cause PPro won't know where to find the small chunks anymore.... its got nothin for a source anymore. Bye.
So, I would export what's called an 'intermediate' ( decent quality export ) of your final edit. Now you can re-import THAT into ppro as a NEW SOURCE if you ever want to add to it, etc. using totally NEW source material. Like starting from scratch, but dumping the original un-used source stuff so you can free up that HD space.
You'll have to do scene detection or whatever to make edit of new stuff cause it won't have your cuts anymore... you'll have to do that over.
Good intermediates are things like prores, dnxhd, cineform, etc. If you're using just mp4 as source then it is probably OK to just export that same junk and re-import that and nobody would notice the difference in that world.
It's an alternative of the Project Manager with less bugs and the Trimming feature!
This feature will remove the unused data of your media without re-encoding the files : your files keep their codec and exact quality. It works with BRAW, R3D, ProRes, and others ... We will add H.264 support soon.
If you want to test it before buying: you can download it for free and run the analysis.
It should give you all the details about what PlumePack would do to your project.