Pee in Confidence

Your friend runs out of the theater; a few minutes later, he sits back down, turns to you and asks, “What’d I miss?”

Then you miss whatever’s happening while you explain what he missed!

Well, pay attention folks–

DOWNLOAD THIS APP:

RunPee

runpee

When you’re watching a movie and you have to go, this app tells you the best times to run to the bathroom without missing any important parts of a movie.

Haha, LOL LOLLSIE (silly, weird app)

No, it’s not Haha, LOL LOLLSIE (well-thought-out, useful, brilliant app)

The Seattle Times did a write-up of this app last Sunday.

I thought it was a joke, so I did some investigation:

First, I downloaded the app.

What it does

gonowWhen you select a movie, it tells you good pee times and why they are good times to go. The prime pee times have synopsis that are easy to explain and have no character development or plot drivers. You also will see how long the pee break should be, usually 3-4 minutes.

Select a pee time and then you can read the synopsis of what you missed.

The pee times are calibrated to the minute, so that you know how far into the movie they are. It also gives the cues—the last piece of dialog before the break. (They try to make the cues obvious.)

Don’t want to be bothered with looking for the cue? Then you can use RunPee’s timer, which will vibrate at the designated time. It even works if you put your phone on airplane mode, which is a good idea, so that incoming texts or calls won’t come through.

The extras are a movie review and information about the end credits—the length and, more importantly, whether there are any scenes that play during or after the credits

Spoilers?

This setup is ripe for spoilers! Noooooooo!

But there are practically none. “The family and I talk about this often when we discuss our reviews and how to approach them,” creator Dan Florio said in an email to me. “We all hate reading spoilers in movie reviews!”

The reviews on RunPee are concise and straightforward.

To see a synopsis of a scene, you have to select the pee break first, so that you don’t see a spoiler.

Who?

Dan Florio is a former Microsoftee, who now lives in Asheville, N.C. The idea came to him when he was watching Peter Jackson’s 2005 three-hour movie, King Kong. His mother, Ginger Gardner, and sister, Christene Johnson, help him determine good pee times and write movie reviews.

In the beginning…

Initially it started as a website more akin to a social network—users would suggest pee times. But that  proved too unreliable and so he started an app.

RunPee received a big marketing push over the past year by cross-marketing with Myrbetriq, a company that manufacturers meds for overactive bladders.

How do they do it?

Dan told me that his mother, sister and he “usually just see the movie once and take notes so that we can go home and write-up the pee times.”

Spoiler-free review
Spoiler-free review

It takes them only one showing of a movie to get the information down. This is what he told me:

“Together with my mother and sister we are able to see almost all of the movies on opening night–Thursdays. We are almost always able to get good pee times from just one screening. On very rare occasions we’ll see a movie twice just to make sure we got it right.That’s pretty damn skillful!”

Sure is!

“It definitely takes a lot of time to get good at it, but some movies are still a struggle,” he adds.

Inception is one movie that Dan had to see  more than once–he saw it three times. How do you even figure out which information in that movie is not important? By spinning a top on a table and seeing if it stops?

Wow!

“Together (with his mother and sister) we cover about 160 movies a year,” Dan told me. “That’s a lot of work.”

According to The Seattle Times, the app has one million downloads, and 500,000 users who are active.

CAVEAT EMPTOR

This is only for peeing! Anything else, you’re on your own!

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