From Your Audience To You: Monty Oum (1981-2015)

By Christian Steiner and Stephanie Brito

Monty Oum was a 33-year-old director, writer, and animator for RoosterTeeth, a company  with 12 million subscribers over their three YouTube channels along with a dedicated online fan-base.

Their most successful production, Red vs. Blue, hit a peak when he joined the team and started creating original animations with his creative eye and trademark stylish choreography. He was also the mind behind their latest animation,  RWBY- which just found its way to Netflix on February 1st.

Sadly, Monty will never see his show’s latest, and future, successes. At 4:34 PM, February 1st, Monty passed away, surrounded by his loved ones in the hospital. Ten Days prior, Oum had suffered a severe allergic reaction to a medicine prescribed to him, which put him in a coma until February 1st.

He is survived by his wife Sheena, as well as his father, and brothers and sisters, who were with him when he passed away. However, he was also joined by his online fans, who responded graciously when RoosterTeeth asked for financial assistance his behalf.

A GoFundMe was established after the public statement was released on January 30, 2015, with its original goal of $50,000 met in less than two days. The community has gone above and beyond and donated $150,000 more than the initial goal. All the money will go to Monty’s remaining medical expenses and funeral arrangements.

RoosterTeeth have asked the community to do exactly what Monty did during his 33 years of life: to be creative.

“Use your imagination to make the world a better place in any way that you can,” said CEO, Matt Hullum.

In response to Matt’s statement, fans have crowded their servers with artwork, videos, and blog posts dedicated to Monty.

“As we take a moment to process this tremendous loss, we will not be posting any more videos today,” said anchor Meg Turney in tears.

Monty Oum was a work horse that would settle for nothing less than perfection in all of his works. But he was also spontaneous and full of life.

In 2013, The Harbinger, spoke to Miles Luna and Kerry Shawcross about RWBY’s Volume 1 Finale.

“Monty Oum woke up one day and thought, red, yellow, white and black are good colors; we should make an anime about the colors,” said Miles Luna, one of RWBY’s co-directors and a co-writer on the origins of RWBY.

The entire staff and community of RoosterTeeth will miss his dedication and kindness greatly, but will honor his legacy.

“Monty really was one of the most talented people and his work really managed to inspire many people, including me,” said Stephanie Ojeda, a fan of RoosterTeeth. “I’m happy that I was able to experience so much of his great work. He will truly be missed.”

RoosterTeeth will continue to produce the shows he inspired.

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2 responses to “From Your Audience To You: Monty Oum (1981-2015)

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