Since he was about eight years old, Aaron Dennis has been filming. Stone Hut Studios is the culmination of life experiences, travel, study, and creative choices. It is the mission of Stone Hut to help others spread a positive message about the good things they are doing. Aaron explains, “I want to work with people who are doing good things for the world.” He started at a young age using a camcorder his grandparents lent him, and he also participated in after school programs put on by Rich Brauer.
After studying at the University of Michigan, Aaron moved to New York following some travel. While there, he worked with PBS as well as traveled to Malawi in Africa filming Malaria and AIDS efforts of researchers. Also, he spent several months filming the Tibetan communities of India, Nepal and Tibet. After about ten years, Aaron ventured back to Traverse City to create Stone Hut Studios. He laughs, “I missed nature and my family.” He continues, “I’m really inspired by nature, the Great Lakes, the great community and the slower pace of life.”
Stone Hut Studios collaborates with several companies and people working to accomplish great things in the Northern Michigan community and beyond. He has worked with the likes of Food for Thought concerned with local and organic foods as well as Scholastic promoting worldwide literacy with multimedia for classrooms. Among other projects, Aaron partners with Higher Grounds, Larry’s Beans, and Wheels of Hopethat helps Nigerian polio victims get access to wheelchairs.
Aaron works in Communications with On the Ground to promote the Run Across Palestine, among other positive efforts. Just recently, he traveled to Palestine and created a web series that will eventually become a documentary. He smiles, “It truly was a moving experience.” His efforts are to chronicle the events of that experience with olive farmers in Palestine. He explains, “I want to humanize a group that is often dehumanized by our media.” For him, the videos and eventual documentary are to show that the people are “beyond politics.”
“I want to be for something instead of against something,” Aaron smiles about he and his wife’s philosophy. They are in Northern Michigan living and working at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons in the heart of the community they are trying to support with their creative efforts. Not all of Stone Hut Studios’ work is work. He does some independent projects, like the one Aaron created using time lapse about the Commons. He laughs, “I just ran around my backyard filming.” Aaron is inspired by creativity and positive efforts.
The long and short of it is that Stone Hut Studios is an effort to help other projects promote the good things they are working on. Aaron explains that Traverse City is great for film for several reasons, mostly, “No matter where you film it’s going to be awesome because it’s beautiful here.”
Check out all the awesome things that Stone Hut Studios is doing online, “Like” them on Facebook, “Follow” them on Twitter, and definitely watch his videos on Vimeo! ~Joanna Dueweke, Regional Director