Many people have asked recently what makes a good Peetime. That isn’t a simple question to answer, because every movie is different. However, I can give you the guidelines that we use when watching a movie. And it’s very important to remember that a Peetime is by no means a part of the movie that you expect to miss without anything at all important happening. What is crucial for a Peetime is that the synopsis we give you be concise and accurate, so you have a good idea what did happen.
First and foremost, no one wants to miss the funniest scene in a comedy, or the most amazing action scene in an action movie, or the plot twisting moment in a thriller. So those scenes are totally off limits for Peetimes. Not to say that there won’t be some action or humor in a particular Peetime, but certainly not the iconic moments.
As an example, in the movie Taken with Liam Neeson, there’s a long chase scene in a gravel pit. That made a decent Peetime because it really wasn’t a spectacular chase scene. It would be nice if there had been a better choice, but the movie was full of really good action and important plot development throughout. Sometimes we have to make the best of a bad situation.
Another great example is the movie This is the End. It was hilarious. There was honestly no span of 4 minutes in that movie that didn’t have something making the entire audience laugh. I was doing Peetimes for the movie and getting a little anxious, because I was afraid I would have to include a funny scene in a Peetime. But then there were two scenes where they drew straws. Those scenes made the best Peetimes in the movie, because what followed was a long, slow, developing scene that didn’t have any humor. I could easily summarize the scene concisely so that the user could quickly read what they missed, and come back to the theater before the hilarity continued.
The process of finding Peetimes requires constant note-taking during a movie. It really is a chore to do. One of the most frustrating things is that we’ll have a really good Peetime going, and then 2 minutes later something funny, or actiony, or plot-laden, etc, happens that ruins the Peetime. We simply scratch it out and start over.
Another thing that we don’t want to include in a Peetime is the introduction of a new character, because it would be difficult to adequately describe that so users would know who they were when they saw them. So we try and stay away from those scenes.
You know what we love more than anything? Long music montages. Those scenes usually make great Peetimes, unless they are too quickly followed by something crucial.
Another type of scene that we love are those long introduction scenes before the action kicks in. You know, those scenes where the good guys are slowly walking through the building, looking for the bad guy, and that goes on for 3-4 minutes. Those are great because there’s almost no dialog to summarize.
Speaking of dialog: we have gotten very good at note-taking and can keep up with most dialog word-for-word, or at least very nearly. If the dialog contains important information, we’ll give it all to you. But, if it’s just some characters chatting, we might summarize what they talk about. We know that the user is going to be a little pressed for time when they read the synopsis – before reentering the theater – so we try to keep it succinct whenever possible.
It’s important to note that not all Peetimes are created equal. The Meta section on the Peetime screen – located above the the Peetimes – is our way of letting the user know which Peetimes work really well, and which ones don’t. This isn’t a problem for short movies that only have one Peetime. But for long movies with many Peetimes, we want to let you know which we would suggest you use if you have the ability to choose. The other Peetimes might be there for emergency use only.
For instance, in a movie that’s around 2 1/2 hours long, there might be a great Peetime right around the middle of the movie that we recommend, but we know that sometimes our bodily urges come on suddenly. You may have thought you could make it to the end when that Peetime came and went, but then 20 minutes later you realize that you have to go badly. We try to have Peetimes spaced throughout the movie, but for some of them, to be frank, you’re going to pay the price for not using the one we suggested. The good news is that at least you’ll know what you missed.
I hope that clarifies what’s going on behind the curtain when we’re looking for Peetimes. Feel free to ask any additional questions in the comments below.