In the midst of tragedy, laughter can often be the best medicine. Soon after production wrapped on the first episode of the new comedy web series MORNINGWOOD, one of the show’s co-creators, Omar Carrion, lost his life in a tragic car accident. He was only 28 years old. Carrion, along with his friends and partners Tom Anello and Jonathan A. Ronda, formed Phyxius Pictures, an independent film and TV production company, which produced MORNINGWOOD. Carrion had an unquenchable enthusiasm for music, filmmaking, and above all, life itself, and his legacy continues throughout the production of the series, that of a man who touched the lives of everyone who knew and worked with him – a legacy that Anello and the rest of the team intends to continue.

“It (Carrion’s death) affected the production since I am a first time director, but we all pulled together and made it happen. It was hard moving forward with out him but in the end we all laughed and had a good time because that was what we did in the first place,” Anello says.

For many young people, especially males, the transition from teenager to adult is full of exploration, most especially when it comes to sex, which often leads to many awkward and hilarious moments, each depicted in MORNINGWOOD. The show’s ensemble cast includes Anello, Jason Edelstein, Marissa Gould, Nori Tecosky, Michael Velez, Natasha Waisfeld, and Katie Rotolo as a group of young twenty-somethings who each try to make their way through the ups and downs of life, love, and sex. The series, now streaming on and on the production company’s official web site (see links below), has filmed two episodes, with plans for a six episode first season, raising $3,500 in its recent IndieGoGo campaign. In addition, the producers hope to attract attention from festivals, with hopes for wider distribution, along with a TV deal with either FX or HBO.

Anello and Didato co-wrote the series, primarily out of a sense of frustration each felt while having to work on projects for other producers, while never getting the chance to create their own material. “Honestly, Ryan Didato (who helped co-write the pilot with me) and myself were sick of waiting for people to cast us in stuff. While I was finalizing the pilot script for MorningWood, Lena Dunham had come out with “Girls” on HBO which I am a huge fan of and I loved how she wrote, directed, starred, produced, made sandwiches for the cast (okay, that last one I made up) but it was inspiring to see Lena do what I was striving for,” Anello recalls. The cast is made up of many talented actors that Anello has not only worked with in the past, but also are some of his closest friends.  (The lone exception was Michael Velez, who was cast through the ActorsInfoBooth casting website).

Anello believes that the key component of MORNINGWOOD’s effectiveness as a comedy is its unflinching portrayal of sex – raw and uncensored. “We do not sugar coat anything. The first scene of the pilot you see J.J. (Anello’s character) jerking off, (and) not many shows will open with that. I had my aunt watch the pilot and she hated it. I asked her why and she said it was too raunchy and obscene. I told her ‘thank you’ and smiled.”

Even though it won’t appeal to some people, Anello believes that many audiences, regardless of age, will enjoy the series, one influenced by such shows as FAMILY GUY and GIRLS, but with its own brand of unsophisticated adult humor. “I know 60 year olds who have watched the pilot for MorningWood and laughed their asses off. I don’t think it is a show strictly for young people. I think the comedy is rich and will keep people coming back for more, mostly because they have friends that these characters resemble, or for the older crowd they were those characters.”