If Chelsea Were China, There’d Be More Media

"Betty Anne Waters" continues shooting
Betty Anne Waters Ann Arbor Area Filming

"Betty Anne Waters" filming in Chelsea. (Photos courtesy of Qin Li)

Filming of the movie “Betty Anne Waters” continued in the environs of Ann Arbor this week. The Chronicle was not out in Chelsea to see it for ourselves, but resident Qin Li emailed some photos and called in a report from her family’s encounter with the movie crew. She and her husband, Vinay Joneja, and son, Dave (five years old), enjoyed a pleasant day of shooting with their house as the backdrop.

In the scene, Betty – played in the movie by Hilary Swank – drives up and picks up two kids from the house. In response to our question, Qin Li said there was no crying or yelling, or high drama involved.

She said that it was striking to her how understated and low-key the actors were. When Loren Dean came in accompanied by other crew, she said, it wasn’t apparent to her who was who, and when he was pointed out as “the actor,” she still needed to appeal to an internet search. Dean plays a role in the film described in industry publications as “the resentful husband” of Hilary Swank’s title character.

But Dean himself didn’t make a resentful sort of impression on Qin Li. She said that he took the time to chat with them, and didn’t come off like a Hollwood star at all – he’d won her over as a fan from now on, she said.

Qin Li was a little surprised that there wasn’t more media attention on the set. She contrasted the complete lack of newspaper reporters or other media there with what she imagined would have happened in China, where she grew up. She imagined that even in an out-of-the-way hamlet, there would have been a gaggle of media following the Chinese equivalent of Hilary Swank on a movie production. Having just recently returned from a Chinese New Year visit to Shanghai, Qin Li reported that even the smallest villages are getting more and more developed.

So who might qualify as the Chinese Hilary Swank? Qin Li said that Ziyi Zhang (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”) or else Gong Li (“Raise the Red Lantern”) might be comparable.

Snack Report

Because we asked, Qin Li described some card tables set out for the crew laden with chips and bagels, but could not confirm any cupcakes, and certainly not any particular flavor.

Betty Anne Waters Ann Arbor Area Filming

Director of "Betty Anne Waters," Tony Goldwyn. The "G" in Goldwyn is the same "G" as in MGM, the motion picture production company.

Betty Anne Waters Ann Arbor Area Filming

"Betty Anne Waters" filming in Chelsea.

Betty Anne Waters Ann Arbor Area Filming

"Betty Anne Waters" filming in Chelsea.

Vinay Joneja and Loren Dean

Vinay Joneja and Loren Dean.