How Did That Happen?!

Two mismatched New Yorkers become roommates and thru comic trials, tribulations and hi-jinks, a makeshift family is formed. A series that seeks to expose and poke fun at the hidden biases we all share and live with every day.

How Did THAT Happen?! is a comedy centered on the relationship that develops between Ginny, a quirky, white, single-mom & actor, who is rapidly approaching 40, and Trey, a hip, young, black restaurateur. Set against the backdrop of NYC, with all of its colorful personalities, our story starts off with Ginny in financial crisis and Trey attempting to extricate himself from a toxic relationship with his girlfriend. The antics that ensue during this web-com take them from upscale restaurants, to police lock-up, to a homeless shelter. All the while the two unlikely roommates are building a bond neither could have foreseen or imagined.

  • Laurence Shanet
    Chase the Ace; Life Coach: Hot Mess; Cuff; Setting the Bar Low; Maria and the Dinosaur; The Pork Fizz Chronicles; Limitless;
  • Jeannie Dalton
  • Ryan Nelson
  • Ryan Nelson
  • Jeannie Dalton
  • Craig Melville
    Subferatu; Cuff; The Chaser's War on Everything; John Safran Vs God
  • David Curry
    Unexpected Journeys: Summer Wonderland; Tom Wills; The Bedroom Philosopher; Speaking in Tongues; Dentally Disturbed; Brief Fiction
  • Laurence Shanet
    Cuff; Dylan's Run
  • Roderick Innes Smith
  • Ellen Halpin
    Single Record
  • Jeannie Dalton
    Key Cast
    Girl, Interrupted; Don't Let Me Drown; The Show; Six Tulips; The Widow's Might; Cash Cab
  • Ryan Nelson
    Key Cast
    What Would You Do?
  • Natasha Lopez
    Key Cast
    The Time Traveler's; Law and Order: SVU; Runner Runner
  • Eric Michael Gillett
    Key Cast
    "Mr. Dyckman"
    FBI: Most Wanted; The Loudest Voice; Quantico; Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; Kevin Can Wait; Daredevil; The Blacklist; The Mysteries of Laura; The Judge; Out of Order; Breathe In; The Third Testament; Law and Order; In the Foxhole; My Brother; The Producers; Maid in Manhattan; Law and Order: SVU; Ed
  • Imran Sheik
    Key Cast
    Big Dogs; Weezy Goes Outside; Nowhere; Other People; The Origin of Fantasies; Pair of Normals; Price for Freedom; Parthenon; Priceless; The Fragrance Thief; Blue Bloods; Ovum; Guy Code; R & J: The Web Series; CollegeHumor Originals; I Do; Mumbai Chopra
  • Lori Vega
    Key Cast
    FBI; Bull; River Path; 190 Lorimer; Sick; Separate Ways; Smart Actress; If You Could Say It in Words; Quarter Life Crisis
  • Hannah Dubner
    Key Cast
    Don't Shmuck It Up
  • Paulette Dalton Thompson
    Key Cast
  • Vance Clemente
    Key Cast
    Inscriptions; Thorns for Flowers; Heysoos; Ghoul Scout Zombie Massacre
  • Viki Boyle
    Key Cast
    ""He's got a really hot ass...." "
    The Leftovers; The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Sha James Beamon
    Key Cast
    Right of Way; Groove; Stray; Cuff; Fml; Bye-Curious; Warehouse Rumble
  • Project Type:
    Television, Web / New Media
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    27 minutes 11 seconds
  • Production Budget:
    8,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Laurence Shanet

Laurence Shanet is a guy who makes things. An award-winning director, writer, and creative director, Shanet got his start in the advertising world working for some of the world's most prestigious ad agencies before embarking on his directorial career. He is a past winner of the Young Director Award at Cannes, was listed among the industry’s Top 10 “Directors to Watch”, and has had his work placed in the Museum of Modern Art's permanent audio-visual collection.

In addition to his advertising work, Shanet is involved in various projects in the entertainment world. He is the director of the new episodic drama Cuff, which was just named an Official Selection of the 2018 New York Television Festival, and recently completed principal photography on How Did That Happen?, an episodic comedy series. In addition, his series of comedic short films about a taxi driver training academy was singled out for development as a network television series, and he was the co-creator of an animated cable series that confirmed the possibility that there actually are gerbils in Richard Gere's butt. He also helmed the popular Off-Broadway play Connections, which received “Best Of New York” Citysearch honors during its frequently sold-out run. And he has contributed as a ghost writer to one of the most popular animated comedy series on television.

He holds degrees in Writing, Film and Psychology from the Johns Hopkins University, and was part of New York University’s graduate program in directing. He also smells good.

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Director Statement

“How Did That Happen?!” Director’s Statement
“How Did That Happen?!” is a silly show about serious topics. When I first heard some of the real-life stories and experiences that inspired the writer/creators of “How Did That Happen?!”, my initial reaction was definitely a laugh. But the accounts also made me think a lot about the way we all treat each other, and the assumptions people make every day without realizing it. Some of those assumptions are about race, while others are simply about people’s identities or backstories. But everyone uses them as shortcuts, and everyone is affected by them in profound ways. At its core, “How Did That Happen?!” is a show about those assumptions.
I’m a big believer in using humorous moments to disarm audience members, and make them more open to thoughtful and productive dialogue. Humor allows us say truthful things about topics that we might not otherwise feel comfortable discussing; and the sort of misunderstandings we see in the show, while absolutely humorous, are also important to many of the conversations we are having right now as a culture. While “How Did That Happen?!” is a resolutely playful comedy, its reason for being has a lot to do with taking a hard look at how we form our biases, both conscious and unconscious.
As one of the most multi-cultural backdrops in the country, New York made the perfect setting for a show about a diverse group of people whose lives cross in coincidental ways on a daily basis. It was also the place that many of the stories that inspired the show actually took place. Growing up as a kid in New York, I had no idea how lucky I was to be surrounded by such a variety of people, nor was I aware how few places in the United States offer that degree of diversity. I just took it for granted, and it wasn’t until I lived in other cities around the country that I started to appreciate this aspect of New York life. And as a New Yorker, many of the situations we depict in the show had special resonance with me for that reason. But I hope that we succeeded in presenting them in a way that will have resonance for anyone.
Just as the idea for the show was based on real experiences, I wanted the feel and look of the show to be realistic, even when some of the situations seem ridiculous. So we really tried to keep the feel naturalistic, observational, and honest. Fortunately, given the very limited resources we had at our disposal, this was both an appropriate creative decision as well as a product of necessity. We used natural sound wherever we could, and tried to keep the editing and effects as unobtrusive as possible. We wanted the moments to be the focus, not the style used to put them together. And the struggles we all faced in creating the project helped bond the team and really made us appreciate how much everyone has given to the project.
In the end, I hope we created a piece that would give any person something to laugh at, while taking away a few things to think about. Making it certainly did that for me, and gave me the chance to make some amazing new friends in the process. Working with such a special group of creators, artists, and actors was rewarding not only because of their collaboration, but also because of their friendship. I feel less like the director and more like the partner of a really fun group of people who came together to create this show together. And since the pilot is really more of a setup for a show to come than part of the show itself, I truly hope we’ll get to tell more of the actual stories that inspired “How Did That Happen?!” as we continue this journey.