Thanks for tuning in to learn more about Stone Hut Studios’ core principles and our founder, Aaron Dennis. Read through the timeline of our many video projects and founding in Traverse City, Michigan. We pride ourselves on where we came from and where we aspire to go. Visit our “About” page to see the list of services we offer and types of films Stone Hut Studios produces.
Stone Hut’s Core Principles
Entertain, Educate and Inspire
We’re creative filmmakers using the unique power of video storytelling to entertain, educate, and inspire people.
Keep it Natural
We capture real stories and real people. Although we have full lighting capabilities, we aim for natural lighting and settings whenever possible. For example, we enjoy walking interviews, where we use a smooth flowing gimbal and wireless mics.
One of our top priorities is minimizing our carbon footprint and using ethically sourced material. Fair Trade coffee is a must! (Check out our 2015 film, Connected by Coffee). Additionally, our team is paid a fair wage to ensure sustainable employment in the filmmaking industry.
We enjoy our jobs and love creating videos, and we carry that into our work with clients and partners.
We believe social and environmental issues need their stories told and we use video to entertain, educate, and inspire people about these issues. We give back with 10% discounts for non-profits and aim to be a member of 1% for the Planet by 2021.
Who is Aaron Dennis?
Stone Hut Studios’ founder, Aaron Dennis, has created videos covering many environmental and social issues, including Fair Trade farming in Latin America and the Middle East , creative peace activism in Palestine and Israel, Malaria and AIDS research in Malawi, improving education in Ethiopia, the struggles of Tibetans in the India, Nepal, Tibet, and China, and environmental threats in the Great Lakes.
Aaron studied at University of Michigan in the Cinema Arts program and began his professional career in videography and photography. He worked in New York City on several national PBS documentaries, including the award-winning Supreme Court series. His most influential filmmaking experience was spending seven months in Asia filming the Tibetan communities of India, Nepal and Tibet to archive a rapidly changing culture. His most intense filmmaking experience was creating a live web-series and documentary following a five-day humanitarian ultra-marathon across Palestine’s West Bank.
In 2001, Aaron graduated with a BFA from the University of Michigan.
In 2002, Aaron began his career working with Dr. Terrie Taylor and Michigan State University on the Blantyre Malaria Project. He performed videography, computer support, and photographing autopsies.
In 2003, Aaron moved to New York City and began working for PBS on several documentary films. He gained experience as a production assistant, archival researcher, and motion graphic designer on national projects including American Experience: Jessie James and the four-part award-winning series, The Supreme Court.
In 2007, Aaron spent seven months documenting the people and places of the Tibetan Diaspora throughout India, Nepal and Tibet.
In 2009, Aaron began freelancing with Scholastic Publishing to produce short, educational videos for online encyclopedias and video trailers for their books.
In 2011, Aaron returned to his home-town of Traverse City, Michigan and founded Stone Hut Studios to pursue his passion of entertaining, educating, and inspiring through the power of video storytelling.
In 2012, Stone Hut Studios released the feature length documentary, The People and The Olive: The Story of the Run Across Palestine, directed and edited by Aaron.
In 2014, Stone Hut Studios released the feature length documentary, Connected by Coffee, produced and edited by Aaron.
In 2018, Stone Hut Studios partnered with Detroit Public Television to create Beneath The Surface, a Michigan Emmy award-winning public television documentary about the Line 5 oil pipeline controversy.
In 2020, Stone Hut Studios has now completed hundreds of video projects including two feature length documentaries and an award winning TV show.