In my last few blog posts, I talked about managing your media from camera to ingestion into your editing software.  Today, let’s look at what to do when you are done with a project.  Do you really need all 700 GB of data for your 30-second commercial spot you just delivered?  For me, the answer is no.  Cue new catch phrase: “Storage doesn’t grow on trees, you know!”

Today I’ll only talk about our workflow in Final Cut Pro, although there are similar things you can do in other editing software.

Once we have delivered a project, I click on our FINALED Sequence and right click.  From the drop down menu, I select MEDIA MANAGER (aptly named).

The Media Manager window pops up.  From here you can see the original amount of media that was used, in our case 175 GB, and also your new amount once you’ve consolidated everything, in our case 79 GB.  Pretty impressive!

From here you can customize exactly what/how you want to consolidate.  Under MEDIA, I always select COPY.  I want NEW media created that my NEW project will reference.

I do not have INCLUDE RENDERS ticked because I don’t want to waste the storage space with render files.  If I need to bring this project back online I will just re-render at that time.

I like to tick INCLUDE MASTER CLIPS OUTSIDE OF SELECTION.  Basically, what this means is you will copy the entire master clip.  If you are really hurting for space you can un-tick this.  Then, only the media that is actually being used in your cut will get copied.  If I un-tick this, my new media amount goes from 79 GB to 36 GB, a significant drop.

Make sure to have DELETE UNUSED MEDIA FROM DUPLICATED ITEMS ticked.  If you don’t, you will be basically copying all your media!!!

The other important option in here is to make sure you have Duplicate selected items and place into a new project ticked.  What this means is FCP will actually create a new PROJECT that only includes your FINALED sequence and all the media associated with it.  And that is really all we want.

Then, just select a MEDIA DESTINATION where you want the NEW media to live.

Once you hit OK, pick a name and location for you new consolidated project.

BOOM!!!  Watch FCP work its magic!

What you will be left with is a new project with a folder containing all of your master clips.

Ready to blow away all the original media?  Not so fast!!!  Slow down, don’t do it yet!!!


Make sure to take your original FCP Project File and copy it to the same location as your new Consolidated Project File.  Then you can blow away all your media away.

“Why?” you might ask.

“Well,” I might say, “What if you need some of the media you blew away.  For a Behind-the-Scenes featurette, or someone wants a shot you didn’t use?”

“Great question, continue.”

“All you have to do is open up your original FCP Project file –“

“But Chad, all my clips will be offline because you told me to delete all my unused media?!”

“You are correct, but as long as you kept all your RAW camera files (tapeless workflow) or/and all your tapes (tape based workflow) then all you have to do is batch capture the clips you want and they will all come back online.”

And there it is, it all comes together!  Parts 1-3!

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of managing your media – from shooting, ingestion to consolidating.  Remember, to be a quality editor you have to be both creative and OCD.  And to emphasize this, you better make sure your consolidated project and media are on a RAIDED G-Tech ES PRO eSata drive!  And then put that thing in a waterproof, fireproof safe!