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Couchsurfing The Movie

What do you want to do with your life? What is your mission? This is what Casey and Heather ask you in the marketing video “Couchsurfing The Movie”.

We will choose three Missions and CouchSurfers to star as the subjects in our documentary “Couchsurfing: The Movie” (expenses paid! sic). This journey isn’t just about sightseeing, it’s about traveling with a purpose!

Maybe the idea seems good to the regular couchsurfer, but the status and funding of this project is completely unclear. The website is hosted by Entrip while the project is co-produced and created by Alexandra Liss, also the owner of the websites. In her CS-profile she explains it a little bit herself:

I met Casey Fenton, who recently commissioned me to create the feature length documentary “Couchsurfing: The Movie,”– loving life right now and all the possibilities that this journey will lead to…

In her profile she also mentiones that she is busy with raising sponsorships. It is unclear though what type of expenses and funding are related. Casey mentions in the video that flight-tickets are fully paid, but do people also get some pocket-money? And what if you go hitchhiking? It is also pretty insane to see Couchsurfing Inc. promoting unsustainable forms of traveling such as flying – by the way. And how much community money is actually going into this project?

Let’s see when this project is to start though. First deadline was set for December 15th but now it is January the 15th, according to Still, the site is not ready yet and you cannot signin, upload or for example “Rate Missions and Vote”. (See also the beta-site which is a bit further developed).

The video is great though. It makes you laugh, guaranteed.

16 Responses to “Couchsurfing The Movie”

  • Well, it would be the first time that a CS-website (?) is offline. is dead, and “” (which looks nice!) is full of Google banners. Who is earning the money there?

    Also: why do I need to have a mission to be a couchsurfer?

    And why is Casey in there? Shouldn’t he be fixing the 501c3?

  • I like the whole movie idea…and I like the youtube come-on. Sorry, but I don’t think it looks cynical, but genuine. I think it looks like fun:)

    I do agree with you, Robino, though: I wish they didn’t pitch to pay for airfare…because people who were considering helping their communities locally (yay…yes, big yay) will now go for the perceived glamor of a trans-oceanic journey to someplace random…through which they can make negligible beneficial gain…but will feed their narcissism: I’m so cool now that I’m in (what?…) Madagascar helping the Madagascarians.

    I like to see CouchSurfing presenting a professionalish persona devoted to something other than partying…and taking the lead in defining themselves. I think this little movie venture does so…and is worth the expended dollars.

  • Margaret, I really love it that you always say what you think, especially when it’s not going to be popular! ;-}

    1. If those people were doing this in their own time, and with their own money, I might even agree with you. But the amateur dramatists in this clip are either on the pay roll, or have been shipped to California, and been dined and wined, with “our” money: public charity funds, which are once again spent on Casey’s buddies.

    2. The last thing this community needs is more and faster unsustainable growth. Marketing is not needed in any shape or form, and therefore is a misappropriation of funds.

    3. The concept of “defining themselves” is tricky. What we see now is the management style of “spin”: controlling people’s perception, instead of fixing the problems. We’ve had those same debates over safety, and reactions to reports in the media.

  • thanks Pickwick!

    I always pound away on this theme but, again: competent leaders cultivate an atmosphere of dissension, question and debate, rather than rahrah-thinking…I like to think that I’m just doing my part to shake it up a bit here:)

    I understand that the ‘actors’ in the pitch are all the same faces (mostly, if not all, American…) we see time and again, but I’m guessing that these are not the people who’s travels will be funded (which improves upon the collective-model already).

    I think that the leadership is genuinely asking for fresh people to get involved and sign on….and to use the site for something more substantial than the big-city meet ups. And yes, they will use these personal stories to market the site, but I think that’s fair game, especially if they’re trying to change how the site is perceived and used.

    I’m happy to see the leadership actually leading….taking public control of shaping the website’s image to something more nominally cerebral. It’s good to see them in a more professional and mature role…rather than always in pimp outfits at Burning Man. (When exactly does adolescence go out of style…hmmm?)

    All of it is, indeed, spin…but this, I perceive, as positive spin in the right direction….and applaud it as a conscious attempt to move the site forward to being more inclusive and less frivolous. I guess I trust in the leadership’s sincere wish to highlight and encourage creative missions among members…and reward them for their desire to use the site in interesting ways. The determiner will be who is selected for the airline-funding: if the lucky winners are chosen for their vision, or their friendly proximity to the leadership (I’ll eat crow if I’m wrong…promised:)

    one more thing: CS is heavily tipped toward favoring the traveler…but of course will not work without the network of available hosts. How could this CS-Movie be used to highlight the “missions” of hosts? As the site membership grows, the demographic will undoubtedly change from solely free-spirits to more rooted folk…I wonder how hosts could participate as well.

    good day all:)

  • “The determiner will be who is selected for the airline-funding”

    That I agree with! If that selection will put my scepticism to shame, then I’ll gladly apologise.

  • same! If I’m proven to be a big ninny, I’ll happily admit it before you fine skeptics:)

  • Would you like to discuss it here?;wsa=26398877.8ca088;id=17706236 this link to join hospitality club in (click this link to get a month free premium membership in

  • Why in godsname would we like to discuss it on an commercial forum like XING?

  • Because CoupleWang gets something when someone clicks those links?

  • a bit puberal it looks like and cheap

  • whole the situation is getting pretty fucked up..

    recently, admins announced, that chat function on couchsurfing is going to be closed, due to “lack of funds”.. now, i know, that it’s not top popular function on cs, but i know people, who found last minute couch there, or solved some communication problems with their host. officially only 1% of couchsurfers use chat – some doubt that, saying, that the number is significantly higher.. to me it doesn’t matter – once it helps someone it’s more worth “financing” than some bloody movie, that nobody’s gonna benefit from :-/

  • Just to let you know that this video has been created by a “normal” couchsurfer, nothing to do with an official blessing by CS.

    Again you got it all wrong, all of you Anti-CS-HC poor guys out there.

    You just deserve pity!!!!!

  • >You just deserve pity!!!!!

    thank you very much.

  • “I met Casey Fenton, who recently commissioned me to create …”

    There you go, you brave anonymous poster. Now stop trolling.

  • is there a “normal” couchsurfer?

    (Just joshing…:)

    I think so many of our problems begin, like this, with sniping…and the inability to accept, or diplomatically deliver, constructive criticism. That truly is a pitiable situation, since discussion and debate are the only ways anything can improve…when problems are noted and worked through. I think we’ve had a good discussion here…prior to the divisive term “anti-CS-HC poor guys”…don’t quite understand that characterization…but perhaps it’s my own shortfall. I tend to think that people who are willing to spend their time in thoughtful analysis should be thanked…with gratitude to all who submit their ideas:)

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