I spent a lot of yesterday archiving old projects because I finally figured it out. I ended up freeing up I think over a terabyte of space on my work drive. It was a relief and terrifying at the same time. Gut-wrenching is another descriptor that comes to mind.
For those of you interested in how I archived using Premiere Pro CS6 I’ll explain here.
So the “Project Manager” has an option to create a “trimmed project” which in theory is supposed to take a sequence or several sequences and create a new project using only the parts of the clips you used to edit with, and you have the option to add handles at the beginning and end (curiously a maximum of 100 frames).
When I did this initially I had a 300 GB project that was maybe 250 GB when I trimmed it. This I knew was ridiculous because the final sequence was less than three minutes long.
So what I figured out was under the “Project Manager” I selected “Remove Unused” which removes unused clips from the clips visible in open bins (if you’re getting rid of media make sure all your media bins are open). I hit “Undo” after “Remove Unused” which means all the unused clips reappeared and were selected, so I could right-click them and make them offline and delete them off the disk.
But the project was STILL quite big. So then what I did was use the “Project Manager” a SECOND time and this time the resulting trimmed project was around 8GB which was what I was looking for. Keep in mind though that your trimmed project won’t have any nice folder structure you might have in your current work folder, but it’s a great way to create trimmed media files for only your sequence.