Spotlight on a Staffer - Joel Nathanael Smith

Who are all those other people at the magazine?

WORDS: Angie Loy
PHOTOS: Joel Smith

Motorcyclist readers get to know the editors on an almost personal level by reading their articles, seeing their pictures in the magazine and meeting them in person. Readers are familiar with the names at the top of the masthead – Brian Catterson, Mitch Boehm and Tim Carrithers – but who are all those other people? I introduced you to our Test Bike Manager Michael Candriea in a previous blog; now allow me to introduce another special guy here.

Joel Smith is the Editorial Assistant at Primedia, which makes him a valued part of the Motorcycle Group. Motorcyclist, Sport Rider, Motorcycle Cruiser, Dirt Rider, Mini Rider and ATV Rider all rely on Joel to complete various tasks and grunt work which support the daily function of their publications. Joel's title doesn't do him justice, though. Not only does he put in eight hours of "editorial assisting" each day, he also assists Motorcyclist's Art Director Todd Westover, utilizing his vast knowledge of graphic and design software and edits all the video footage for the websites. The kid's got talent … especially with video.

[I didn't realize what went into video editing and production until Joel explained it to me. It's a grueling process of viewing hours of footage, extracting several clips and creating a story from it. When he's done with the primary steps, he then adds music and text. On average, a 2-minute clip takes about 24 hours to produce, so I felt bad when I gave him footage I shot for a Sport Rider project. I shot Andrew Trevitt at L.A. County Raceway's drag strip while the wind was blowing and my asthma was kicking in. Needless to say, my footage sucked and there were very few pieces where I was holding the camera still. It didn't stop Joel. He was able to transform my raw footage into something way above and beyond my expectations.

It turns out Joel has years of experience working with video. I wanted to see more of his work so he indulged me with some of the funniest videos I’ve ever seen, one being Ninja Heatwave, which he wrote, produced, directed and starred in. If you have a warped sense of humor, you will laugh so hard you’ll lose your breath like I did.

Joel Smith: Editorial assistant, video editor, producer and the guy who makes us laugh on a daily basis.

[Enjoy Joel's video, Ninja Heatwave