Finding PeeTimes – EXACTLY how I find those movie breaks

A few people have asked how I find those movie break Peetimes for Runpee.com. Well, let me tell you: it isn’t easy, or fun.

What I do to make a Peetime

  • For each movie I try and sit off away from the rest of the audience. That is oftentimes impossible since I see movies on opening day so that peetimes will be available ASAP.
  • I have my phone – ringer off – that I can check the time with. I use a basic timer application on my Android phone to keep track of the time.
  • Of course I can’t RunPee during a movie so I make sure that I don’t drink much beforehand and I use the men’s room right before the show starts.
  • The first thing I watch for is the beginning of the movie. We can’t time peetimes from when the movie is listed to start because commercials and previews can run anywhere from 10-20 minutes. Since the iPhone app will vibrate in your pocket just a few minutes before the upcoming peetime I need to make sure that the start time for each peetime isn’t off by more than a minute or so.
  • As soon as the movie begins – after the previews – I start my timer running. And then I can sit back and relax for the first 30 minutes because peetimes must be at least 30 minutes into the show – you can hold it at least that long, right?
  • Now for the hard part. I watch the movie for scenes that I can easily sum up without missing in critical details to the movie. Many people think that peetimes are just the boring scenes in movies, but that isn’t necessarily true. Some peetimes might take part during a car chase or some other action scene. It just has to be something you can miss and still follow the plot when you return. Take the first peetime for Star Trek. That’s during the scene where they sky dive down to the drilling platform. You’ll be missing some nice action but most of that scene was shown during the previews that everyone saw. The rest of the scene is easy to sum up so that when you do get back in the theater you can slip back into the story.
  • When I see something happening in the movie that looks like it might make a good peetime I write down the current time on my notepad and the cue.
  • The peetime cue is hugely important. It’s nice to have very distinct scenes or lines of dialog to start a peetime with. Users can read through the cue – usually very short – before the movie starts so that they know what to look for during the movie – the timer doesn’t always work. So take for instance the movie Thor. One of the cues for a peetimes reads: Thor carries Erik – the scientist – back to Jane’s trailer after drinking at the bar. That should be very easy for someone to remember – oh, now’s a good time to run and pee.
  • Then I start jotting down notes like who’s talking and the gist of the conversation. If the scene keeps going for a at least 3 minutes – preferably 4-5 minutes – and nothing has happened that makes me say, “Crap, you can’t miss this scene,” then I have a good peetime candidate. Then as soon as this scene ends I write down the time again so that I know how long this peetime stretches.
  • Rinse-and-repeat.

Peetimes are of course subjective but here are a few tips I would offer that would make a bad Peetime:

  • Did something happen that a few people in the theater laughed at?
  • Was there some character interaction that was purely visual and would be difficult/impossible to accurately describe?
  • Say you’re watching an action movie with lots of fighting: was there some amazing scene that might be the best move, or special effect, in the movie. People probably don’t want to miss that.
  • If shortly after your peetime something hugely important happens then really consider not using this peetime unless the person has at least 5 minutes to get back. For example if the movie goes for 3 minutes of watching a clothes dryer spin and then right after that Darth Vader walks up to Luke and says, “Luke, I am your father.” then you don’t want to use this peetime. Someone might not make it back in time.

And here are a few examples that I think make for good peetimes:

  • Music montages that just show a character(s) training or doing whatever it is they do. This is usually very easy to sum up like, “Rocky goes out jogging around the city and eventually fans start following. He ends by running up the steps in front of a big building and then jumping around like a champion.” Now I won’t argue with you that that scene is iconic. But suppose you’re in the theater and you really have to pee and you know you can’t wait until the movie is over. Guess what, missing that music montage would be a whole lot better than missing the fight with Apollo Creed now wouldn’t it?
  • Suppose you’re watching an action movie that has lots of gun fights. A few of the gun fights might be really good but there’s usually one of them that’s just sort of average. That sounds like a good Peetime to me. I would even mention in the description that this gun fight isn’t as good as the other gun fights – or whatever the action is.
  • Something really gross in an otherwise not so gross movie. Take for instance King Kong – the movie that started the whole idea for RunPee – there’s the scene with those huge bugs that eat people. The rest of the movie isn’t that gross and disgusting. There are a lot of people who don’t like scenes like that and so they would gladly miss that part.

Sometimes it happens that I have a good Peetime candidate and then just a few minutes later a much better one comes up. I try not to group the peetimes to closely together so I’ll pick the best one. Or if the are different types of scenes, say one is an action scene and the other is a love scene, then I’ll leave them both so that the user can pick what to miss.

I like to have 2-3 peetimes per movie and I try to group them starting around the 30 minute mark. I usually stop looking for them with about 20-30 minutes remaining in the movie. It is very rare that a good peetime happens near the end of a movie, but there might be exceptions. One that comes to mind is Heat – I’m sure you know what I’m talking about if you remember the end of the movie.

Of course I have to sit in the theater until the credits end to check for those post credit scenes. Then I can RunPee myself before adding the peetimes to the website!

I would love to hear your comments if you have any suggestions for improving this process.

10 replies
  1. urlreviews
    urlreviews says:

    Excellent answer, I must say though it takes a special talent to do these things, like being able to see in the dark, write in invisible ink so the movie bosses doesn’t catch you, I heard they are passing a law where it is copyright infringement to write down what happens in their movie, they argue it is the same thing as stealing the script j/k of course.

    Reply
  2. Jilly
    Jilly says:

    URLreviews, Dan has super xray vision and can see in the dark, of course. I have to blindly scribble and hope what I wrote makes sense to me later.

    Reply
  3. Jen
    Jen says:

    I use to work at a local movie theatre and they would preview the movies for the employees days before they came out (usually a Wed or Thurs if released on Fri). They had to screen the movies for any faults before showing to the public. Maybe ask at your local theatres let them know what you do and you might find a sympathetic manager.

    Reply
    • polyGeek
      polyGeek says:

      @Jen, good thinking. When I settle down in Orlando I’ll look into that. Plus I have some people trying to get me a movie reviewers pass. I’m sure it will happen eventually.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply to polyGeek Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *