Skully Shemwell of Jackson plays the part of Clay Barringer in the new film, "Lost Treasure of Jesse James." Filmed in Missouri, the independently made movie has not been released yet, but it will likely premier in a local venue. Submitted photo
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Skully Shemwell plays role in new movie, ‘Lost Treasure of Jesse James’

by Elane Moonier ~ Features Editor

An exciting new film by an independent film making company is waiting in the wings to be released, and a Jackson man is playing a big role in the movie.

"Lost Treasure of Jesse James" is a family friendly, fun adventure filmed in various parts of Missouri, especially in areas where there are natural caves such as Crystal City and Columbia. It features a cast and crew of around 400 including several tweens and teens who star in the movie.

Skully Shemwell of Jackson plays the role of Clay Barringer in the film.

“It’s a movie about a group of kids who are trying to help save one of their group but wind up in a hunt for lost treasure in a race against both the clock and a group of baddies who will stop at nothing to get the treasure first,” Skully said.

The film producers describe it as “a backwoods team of kids trying to solve a 100-year-old family mystery to save their friends, family and all of Ford County in an inspirational story about unity, friendship and how the color of skin is SO last century.”

The story wraps around the legend of famous Missouri outlaw, Jesse James and the belief that the James gang may have hidden some of the money gained from their robberies somewhere in the caves of their homeland.

That treasure has never been found, and there is speculation whether the story is real or not. The premise of that lost treasure is the seed for this film.

Skully is originally from St. Louis, but he moved to Cape Girardeau in 2003, to join the band, Drivin’ Rain, as a bass guitar player. The band played in many concerts, including opening for Steppenwolf.

In 2007, Skully ventured into acting with a role in "Millers Tale," which had a sold out showing at Wehrenberg Theater.

He said this film helped him become known as an actor, and soon after, he began auditioning for many different parts. He has since played roles in as many as 20 different projects and a couple of those films were award winners.

Last year, he was cast in the role of Clay Barringer (one of the bad guys), for "Lost Treasure of Jesse James," and he said it has been an exhilarating experience.

“We were all over the caves in Missouri,” he said. “We were using the water in the caves, and it was just ice cold.  We actually built an old mining car to run on the tracks for a mine car chase in the caves.”

Skully said the movie goes back and forth from the past to the present to bring the Jesse James legend into modern day. It is fun and really very exciting,” he noted. “It’s family fun, kind of like when the Dukes of Hazzard meet the Goonies.”

Directed by Adam Boster, the film is currently being marketed in 80 different countries around the world for distribution. Skully said there is no release date as of yet, but they are possibly looking at a premiere showing here locally.

He also said they are working to get the Missouri Tax Credit for film makers. “There are so many shorts and independent films being made in this area of Missouri, and this tax credit would be a huge incentive to keep that business here,” he pointed out.

You can watch the trailer for this film on YouTube at "Lost Treasure of Jesse James."

Release dates for the film will be coming in the near future.

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