Gregg, I also encourage you to stick with FFI as the gold standard for RV formation flying and encourage you to attend one of the FFI formation clinics. The RV is made for cross county flying so don't be put off by the distance required to get there. You will learn more at a clinic than you ever can by doing it on your own. You will probably not get "carded" at your first clinic but it has been mentioned before that a FFI card is only necessary to fly in waivered (air show) airspace. I used to host a clinic in North Carolina along with my friends in Team RV & Team Aerodynamix and we did this partly as a means of recruiting new team pilots. Once you form a group and do a few missing man formations word will get out and you will have plenty of opportunities to fly.
The FFI card is all you will need to fly formation in waivered airspace until you introduce aerobatics into the routine then you will need a FAA Statement of Aerobatic Competency (SAC) card. Formation aerobatics is the ultimate thrill and until you have done a 8-ship
formation loop at night you have not truly arrived!
Even if your only objective is to gather with a bunch of like-minded friends to formate on weekends the standards and safety protocols that you will learn as a FFI trained pilot will pay off. Good luck in your endeavor.