Meet Stone Hut Studios

Meet the Stone Hut Studios team! Although we are quite different, we all have a passion for social and environmental justice, an acute wanderlust, an empathetic approach to all aspects of life, and are avid soccer players.

Aaron Dennis, has been filmmaking professionally for 18 years. He has created videos and films covering many environmental and social issues around the world. He studied at the University of Michigan and began his career in New York City working for PBS before moving back to his hometown of Traverse City, MI. In 2011, he founded Stone Hut Studios to pursue his passion for creating films for a better world. You can learn more about Aaron, in our blog, Stone Hut’s Core Principles and Founder.

What you won’t see in the blog post is the undisputed fact that his greatest treasure in the world is his intelligent, animated 4-year-old daughter. A Traverse City native, he claims to know the most stunning, and secret spots in Grand Traverse and Leelanau Counties. He possesses a rock and fossil collection that compares only to the Natural History Museum. Aaron spends much of his time coming up with new, creative ideas and opportunities for videos, often seeing beyond limitations.

Prior to working with Stone Hut Studios, Jessie earned her MA in Social Justice and Education from University College London’s Institute of Education in Spring 2020. Her dissertation investigated how different elements of documentary films come together to produce a specific representation of social justice issues. While studying in London, she produced and directed an educational video series that provided public and academic experts a platform to report on and challenge race within education. After graduating, she traveled to Indonesia as a writer and assistant for a UK-based film company and wrote a blog series that provided insight into the social and environmental issues surrounding plastic waste in Bali. While in London, she assisted and modeled on two promotional shoots for a global media company, where she traveled with the film crew to various sites around Italy in the summer and Turkey in the fall of 2019.

For four years, Jessie supported the strategic development and daily operations for a global pediatric charity in Kansas City, MO as an event and volunteer coordinator. She studied psychology and business at the University of Tampa, where she worked also in the Volunteer Center. As a co-director, she created and led experiential-learning trips for fellow students focused on various social and environmental issues. For one of the trips, she co-led a team of students to the Ecuadorian Amazon where they volunteered with and learned from a rural community of people about their cultural and environmental sustainability practices.

Raised in a small, coastal town in Florida, she feel most comfortable in the sunshine and around large bodies of water. In dark, chilly winters, she boosts her serotonin with Taika Waititi films, puppy puzzles, adventurous walks, and any opportunity to travel. She thrives off of her connection with her closest friends, who are scattered around the US and UK. As a lifelong learner and empathetic individual, she has engaged with local and global social and environmental issues from a young age, and continues to push herself to learn from new and different perspectives and information.

After high school, Jonelle began her videography career filming weddings and gained experience working on the award-winning feature film, The Wretched. Currently, she is interested and involved in filming more promotional videography. As Stone Hut Studios’ videographer and assistant editor, she is motivated by storytelling and spotlighting important social and environmental issues. She is a certified commercial drone pilot and excited to bring new perspective to her videos. You’ll find her creating meaningful content on a daily basis for Stone Hut Studios, and in her own life. 

Jonelle recently fell in love with Traverse City after moving here a few years ago. She loves the houses off of Sixth street during the holidays and frequents all her favorite, local coffee shops. Away from work, she spends time traveling, with loved ones, and pursuing additional creative outlets.