North County teen filmmaker, 17, debuts 'Sixteen Candles'

North County teen filmmaker, 17, debuts 'Sixteen Candles'
Maddy Shay, a senior at Friends School of Baltimore, plays the lead role of Samantha Baker in Tommy Flynn's remake of the movie "Sixteen Candles." In this scene, she sits on her high school steps and talks with Paul Bateman, a Calvert Hall High School sophomore, who plays a geeky student who has a crush on her.

He's just turning 17, but Tommy Flynn is already a seasoned filmmaker. The premier of his third movie, "Sixteen Candles," will be held July 24 at Hereford Volunteer Fire Company's catering facility, Summit Manor.

The 7 p.m. event is free and open to the public, but donations will be accepted for My Neighbors Foundation, which supports the needs of North County students, as well as a local family. There will be raffles and food before the movie.


Some 200 people attended the premier of Tommy's "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" in 2011 and more than 275 saw his movie, "Clue" last year.

Tommy, a junior at Loyola Blakefield High School who lives in Phoenix, wrote his own script based on the 1984 movie, gathered a cast of 30 teens and then filmed the action at several locations this winter.

He said a friend suggested he make the movie, but after seeing it, knew he had to make a lot of changes.

"I had to take out a lot of scenes and change others because of sexual content and language," Tommy said. "The audience for my other two movies was kids and this one is more for older kids and teens, but I rewrote a lot."

The movie features Maddy Shay, a senior at Friends School of Baltimore, as Samantha Baker, whose 16th birthday is forgotten by her family as they prepare for her sister's wedding.

"I've never been in a student-run film before, but Tommy really knows what he wants," said Maddy, whose acting experience started in third grade when she was in "Evita" at the Hippodrome. "I've only seen snippets of the movie and it looks very impressive."

Her friend, Katrina Keegan, also a senior at Friends School, plays Samantha's mother in the movie, and Hereford High School junior Sam Boelens plays her father.

Samantha's school life is filled with drama. She yearns for senior Jake Ryan, played by Ian Stoner, of Owings Mills, while a geeky freshman, played by Paul Bateman of Phoenix, tries to win her affection.

"Tommy gave me a lot of help as an actor. I was having trouble with my facial expressions not being natural," said Paul, who is appearing in his first movie. "Tommy was bossy, but in a good way."

Tommy filmed the school scenes at Loyola. A friend's house in Roland Park was transformed into Samantha's family's home. He also staged a wedding at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Hunt Valley and filmed at Hereford Middle School's Teen Center one Friday night.

Other teens in the movie include Veronica Brown as Samantha's best friend; Caroline Friedman, Cara DeSantis and Charlie Goldsborough as Samantha's siblings; Holly Hutton as Jake's girlfriend; and Connor Moore, Kaitlyn Jones, Timmy Krach and Julia Smouse as Samantha's grandparents. Tommy's sister, Sarah, 13, helped with hair, makeup and costumes.

Tommy made his first film — a horror story — in his basement when he was 11. He attended Young Filmmakers summer workshops in Baltimore for several years.

Once "Sixteen Candles" has had its premier, Tommy is moving on to his next project — a movie based on the television show "Revenge."

To see a trailer for "Sixteen Candles," go to


The Summit Manor at Hereford Volunteer Fire Company is located at 510 Monkton Road.