• James Hewlett

Monty Oum

Today is the five year anniversary of Monty Oum’s passing. That name won’t mean much to most but those who were aware of him and his creative endeavours understand what a loss it still is to not have him around anymore.

I first became aware of Monty’s work shortly before he was hired at Rooster Teeth, actually thinking about it he may have already been working there but they had kept it under wraps.

Trying to explain the history that company and what bringing him on board did to effectively help them evolve and take a massive step forward in all aspects of their productions would take away from talking about the man himself so I’m not going to do that. Instead I just want to mention a few of the reasons Monty continues to inspire me every day.

Monty Oum was a weird dude. He was quiet but loud, thoughtful but reckless, equal parts introverted and extroverted. Nothing he ever did in any aspect of his life was without purpose though. There was zero wasted motion in anything he did; this was a guy who would pop the keys he didn’t use out of his computer keyboard so there would be less chance of hitting them on accident, a man who, if something needed to be microwaved for two minutes would only put it in for one fifty because those other ten seconds could be used doing something productive. His workstation consisted of at least two computers that he would be working on simultaneously and he would always be watching a tv show, movie or podcast as well to help inspire the next thing. There would be time’s when they were in crunch at the end of a show and Monty would work so hard he legitimately forget to sleep for days on end. No one asked him to do this, they would encourage him otherwise in fact, but that was just who he was and how he operated.

Monty’s legacy is one that feels incomplete. He was just thirty three years old when he passed away after suffering a severe allergic reaction to a routine allergy shot rendered him comatose three days earlier.

There is so much more he had planned and was working on that it is heartbreaking to know we’ll never get to see his visionary works again.

But his story is not over, RWBY, the animated series he created in his time at Rooster Teeth continues on and has now become the most popular American made anime in Japanese history and is a bonafide global success. His brother took over voicing the character he played and the show is now run by the two people he bought on from the get go to assist him.

When Monty was hired at RT the company consisted of less than ten people total, today they’re pushing four hundred with about half of them working in the separate, dedicated animation studio that is forever memorialised by his signature and a quote he gave shortly before his death while talking about upcoming projects,

“Keep moving forward.”

Thank you Monty. You’re forever missed.


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