One common request from users over the years is to help them avoid graphic scenes in movies that might disturb them. For years we have tried to do the best we can to create Peetimes during scenes we found to be over the top, or disturbing, compared to the rest of the movie. Now we have made it quasi-official by marking these Peetimes as Alert Peetimes.
This solution comes with a few caveats. First, this is obviously very subjective. What may be disturbing to one person isn’t even noticed by another. However, I think there is a lot of common ground. We focus on scenes that have sexual violence, animal cruelty, or torture. (Hopefully there’s never a scene that involves all three!)
Also, this is contextual. If you’re watching a gangster movie with lots of torture scenes, then what’s the point of making Alert Peetimes for those?That’s what the movie is about. But, if there happened to be a scene involving animal cruelty in a gangster movie, then we’d try to alert you to that.
Second, we can’t have Alert Peetimes that might cover every conceivable thing someone out there might be sensitive to. For instance, if you were recently in a terrible car crash, it might be traumatic to watch a movie and then unexpectedly see a car crash. My suggestion for anyone with an issue like that would be to talk to someone who has already seen the movie, and ask them if one of their trigger scenes is in it.
Third, we make it very clear in the RunPee app that we won’t be held responsible for catching every scene that might trigger someone. We’ll do our best and invite our fans to provide feedback, good and bad, on how we are doing with the Alert Peetimes — but we’re not interested in hearing criticism that blames us for not protecting them from a trigger scene. Again, we’re doing our best with it, but this isn’t our core purpose when getting Peetimes for a movie.
We love seeing reviews of our fine and fun app on You Tube: We’ve Been Reviewed! We feel so grateful for the attention. RunPee is a small, family-run business. We see all the wide release movies each (and every) week, sit there with our clipboards and timers, to give you two or three times you can safely make a break for the bathroom. It’s a lot of work! And we don’t get to pee at all…so you can. 🙂
So, we love all these little videos people made. Take a look. Really cool. And really, thank you.
Bad news: Apple has rejected my update to the RunPee app, so the fix for the Timer notifications–that broke because of a change Apple made–won’t be available for about another week.
On top of that Apple is forcing me to remove access to the IMDb movie information available in the app–that has been a feature in the app for over 3 years. Why do I have to remove this feature? Because IMDb.comrecognizes that you are viewing their website in a mobile browser and so they provide download buttons for the iOS IMDb.com app and for the Android IMDb app. Apple, in their infinite inferiority, does not want their users to know that Android exists.
Apple is infuriating. There’s no way for me to punish them without punishing my users, but let me put it this way, if I won the lottery I would disable the RunPee app for iOS forever, and only allow it to run on Android phones.
FYI, obviously the IMDb integration won’t be affected on the Android app.
The RunPee app is primarily here to help you enjoy your movie going experience by telling you the best times to Run and Pee without missing anything important. The RunPee family – Dan, Jilly, Mom and Sis – see each wide release movie that comes out, on opening day. We watch for 3-5 minute spans in the movie where nothing really exciting, or funny, or important happens. (Obviously this can be next to impossible for really good movies but we do our best. )
We start looking for Peetimes about 30 minutes into the movie and we stop when there’s only 20-30 minutes left. For short movies of about 90 minutes there may only be one Peetime. But for movies over 2 hours there may be 2-3 Peetimes.
Each Peetime has a synopses of what happens. So if you do need to run and pee then you’ll be able to come back to the theater knowing exactly what happened while you were taking care of business.
We also give you a lot more:
- Notes from the person who took the Peetimes to let you know which one we would suggest using and which ones to use only in case of emergency.
- If you need to stay after the end credits for any extra scenes.
- A synopsis of the first 3 minutes of a movie, just in case you are running late.
- A grade and short review for each movie.
- Screens that show information about your selected movie from RottenTomatoes.com and IMDb.com.
- Quick links to the soundtrack, if any.
- and more…
Available on the following platforms:
Here’s a quick video tour of the app
Who came up with this crazy idea?
Dan Florio – that’s me – was watching the remake of King Kong with Jilly back around Christmas of 2005. The movie was about 3 hours long. By the end of the movie I desperately needed to pee. Like so badly I couldn’t enjoy the movie. But I wasn’t about to leave the theater before it was over.
After the movie it occurred to us that if we had gone to pee during that scene with those big bugs – you know that totally gross scene that shouldn’t have been in the movie in the first place – then we could have enjoyed the ending, the good part, in comfort. We laughed about wanting to tell the world about it. Then it occurred to me that I could make a website for just such information. So I thought about it, then registered the domain name for RunPee.com and then forgot about it for about 3 years.
By far the most requested feature I get is, “When will there be a RunPee app for my ???? phone?” Currently there are only apps for iPhone and Android phones. There is also m.RunPee.com which is a very simple HTML version of the website that should work on practically any mobile browser. It costs $1/year to get access to movies that have been out for less than 31 days. Everything else is free.
But that’s going to change soon. As you know the RunPee.com website is done in Flash. ( To be precise it’s done with the Flex framework 4.0 beta 2 and Flash Builder beta 2.) The reason it’s done in Flash is that I’m a Flash developer and that’s what I do. There are no plans to ever make RunPee.com an HTML based website.
The good news is that Flash is coming to your mobile phone. Yes, you Blackberry, Palm Pre, Nokia, etc. users will soon have phones that will display Flash content. That’s because Adobe is working very hard to make the next version of the Flash Player work across devices. Currently the Flash Player uses up too many resources for a mobile phone to handle. But the new player will be optimized for mobile phones. My understanding is that when the player is ready – sometime in the first half of 2010 – then it will be pushed out to existing phones. For some I’m sure you will have to download it. Others will just magically have the Flash player.
That will help a great deal but the current RunPee.com website still wouldn’t work very well on a mobile phone. That’s because the app is far too wide to fit on a mobile phone screen. But I promise not to leave you hanging. I’m going to make a version of the app that will fit nicely on smaller screens. When you visit RunPee.com the app will check to see what your screen size is and then display the appropriate layout.
The mobile version of the site will have all the features that you would expect of a mobile app. It will store data locally in case you need to use the app in a theater without reception – provided you viewed the Peetimes before losing reception. It will also have a Timer and will vibrate your phone before each Peetime – provided your phone supports that functionality.
The big question will be about the price. Initially it will be free and I hope to keep it that way if the advertising makes enough money. If not then I will probably use something similar to the m.RunPee.com model and charge people $1/year to access movies that have been out for less than 31 days.
I’m on the list at Adobe to get access to all of the beta-bits necessary to create the mobile version before it’s released to the public. I’m certain that I will have the mobile version of RunPee ready the day the updated Flash Player is released to the public. Hopefully in time for the summer blockbusters.
If you have registered for the mobile version of RunPee then the code will try to add a cookie so that you don’t have to login every time you visit. However, a lot of mobile browsers don’t work well with cookies. So I’m really sorry if you get prompted to login every time you visit the home screen. I’ll keep looking for ways to save the data that might work on more mobile phones out there. That’s why mobile phone development is so hard: because there are so many different browsers to work around.
The RunPee app for BlackBerry phones will probably not be done this year – if ever. It turns out that it is very expensive to create apps for BlackBerry and one app won’t work on all of the phones. Which really seems pretty stupid to me. At least you have m.RunPee.com now.
The significant difference between m.RunPee.com and the iPhone app – or any other RunPee app – is that the website can’t vibrate your phone right before a PeeTime is about to start and can’t do local storage. Both of those features will be part of every app – and part of the update to the current iPhone app which will be ready as soon as Apple gets their head out of their ass.
I’m totally new to building websites for mobile phones. In fact I haven’t written that much HTML in years. If you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them.
Tom Gromak of the Detroit News got his hands on our new iPhone RunPee download from iTunes. He neatly sums up why the the RunPee mobile app 1.0 version is so useful for cinematic movie-goers:
“…I feared that using the site to plan ahead would allow me to see spoilers that might ruin the experience. Worse, I worried that firing up the site on my iPhone’s Safari browser in the theater would raise the blood pressure of those sitting around me.
“But the iPhone app is well-thought. Its yellow and off-white text on a black background isn’t likely to get you tossed (or to get popcorn tossed at you). Like the website, you browse for the movie you’re seeing, and you’re presented with a series of times (displayed in terms of minutes into the movie) and cues (usually a line delivered by an actor) telling you when it’s safe to run and for how long. The app includes a timer for tracking your progress into the film. A planned update not yet implemented can even alert you by vibrating the phone as each potential bathroom break approaches.“
He also calls the RunPee website and the entire idea “brilliant”…we like hearing that. And being called genius. It just never gets old. I mean, have you SEEN our In the News page? Yegads; in a good way. And keep those suggestions coming to improve the app for version 2.0 (all updates are free to you, of course).
Get your own RunPee app for only 99 cents! (links to iTunes RunPee page)