I am trying to import .mpg files from my camera but it gives me the following error message:
unsupported format or damaged file.
How do I get those files into Premiere CS4 for editing? Its for a school project and I don't have much time.
The best option would have been to use a tape based MiniDV camera, as the MPEG files of your camera were really not designed with editing in mind. Those cameras are more for the shoot and watch crowd.
For this project, you have a couple options. You can use a more consumer oriented program which better handles your consumer media, something like Movie Edit Pro from Magix. Or you can convert your current clips into DV files which Premiere plays very nice with. If you're not particularly adept at the latter suggestion, you may be better off with the first.
First, use G-Spot to find out what CODEC is used in your .MPG files. It will tell you the name. Chances are good that you just do not have what is required, installed. Use the name that G-Spot gives you to locate what you need on the Internet. That should help you, though even with the proper CODEC, you might have more obstacles ahead. Still, you will have a start.
I'll bet that you have an MJPEG file and need either the Morgan, or the MainConcept MJPEG CODEC. Until we know, however, we're only guessing.