Monyreak "Monty" Oum (June 22, 1981 - February 1, 2015), was, among other things, a self-taught 3D animator,* whose education was entirely observational. He was responsible for some of the most awesome Web Animation around, most of which relied on Rule of Cool.
He gained early fame for Haloid and Dead Fantasy, two of his most famous works and the two that really put him on the map. He was hired by Rooster Teeth to work on never-before-done (at the time) animation for Red vs. Blue, for which he worked tirelessly to make Tex even more awesome than previously thought possible. After finishing up season 10 of RvB, he launched a new web series under the name of RWBY, something he said he's always been wanting to do since he got into animation. As the director and lead animator of RWBY, he took employees and writers from all sections of Rooster Teeth, including fan favorites from Achievement Hunter, to produce the series. In between his movies, he was working on an adaptation of Hatsune Miku for M.U.G.E.N.
He also worked briefly as a combat designer for Midway Games and Bandai Namco (as a combat designer for the former and combat designer/animator for the latter's Afro Samurai game). His long-term goal, aside from making movies for his fans, was to make the most awesome fighting game ever. Some fans have begged for him to make a game based off RWBY, something he somewhat hinted at◊ before a RWBY game was confirmed at RTX 2014.
He died on February 1, 2015, at the age of 33 after suffering an allergic reaction that left him comatose two days earlier, even though a fundraiser was set up to help with paying for the expenses. In his memory, Rooster Teeth has challenged everyone whose lives were touched by Oum and his works to use their creativity to make the world a better place.
Works with animation by Monty Oum:
- Dead Fantasy
- Red vs. Blue (Seasons 8-10) (produced by Rooster Teeth)
- RWBY (produced by Rooster Teeth)
Voice Acting Roles:
- RWBY: Lie Ren (Volumes 1 + 2)
Monty Oum and his works provide examples of:
- Action Girl: All of his works heavily features female fighters front-and-center.
- Ascended Fanboy: Was noted to be a big fan of BlazBlue. Three years after his death, RWBY got to cross over with said franchise.
- All Asians Know Martial Arts: Played for laughs when he appeared as a guest "martial arts instructor" in an episode of Immersion.
- Attention Deficit Creator Disorder: Between Red vs. Blue and RWBY, Dead Fantasy was hit hard by Schedule Slip. Unfortunately, due to Oum's death in 2015 it will never be updated.
- Author Appeal: Action Girls and fluid fight scenes permeate his works. Even Haloid had Samus fight out of her armor, and it turns out the SPARTAN in the video was a woman all along.
- Most characters in RWBY drink coffee like it's going out of style. Coffee is something Oum the infamous workaholic was all too familiar with.
- Author Existence Failure: A shocking and tragic example. He was entirely fine and healthy until mid-January 2015; two weeks later, he was dead from a severe allergic reaction. At the age of 33, he should have had decades more work in him. As a result, Dead Fantasy will never be completed, and while RWBY will continue, it will always have a heavy cloud of What Could Have Been hanging over it.
- Awesome, Dear Boy: He mentioned at one point that he could have worked as an animator at another studio, given his impressive résumé, but he wanted to direct his own awesome projects rather than be stuck working on someone else's ideas.
- Badass Armfold: As per his profile picture, it seemed to be his trademark pose, as shown in The Gauntlet and other appearances.
- Cool vs. Awesome: The two works that brought him to fame were Halo vs. Metroid and Dead or Alive vs. Final Fantasy.
- Doing It for the Art: Why Oum worked for hours and hours longer than considered healthy every day; he was just that dedicated to seeing his vision come to fruition.
- Promoted Fanboy: Oum got inspired to pursue animation because he wanted to do cool things like what he saw on the internet. Then he became an animation director over at Rooster Teeth.
- Recoil Boost: His animations often have characters use the recoil from their guns to propel themselves at high speeds. Oum said that his goal was to make fights fluid by conserving motion, which means integrating the recoil from firearms into combat maneuvers.
- Rule of Cool: The only rule he lived by. Oum's fight scenes are powered by "what would be awesome here".
- Shipper on Deck: He was the one who encouraged Gavin Free and Meg Turney to go out with each other.
- Trolling Creator: Any time browsing his Facebook or Twitter feeds would reveal many teases and hints, sometimes to an almost taunting level.
- What Could Have Been:
- Freddie Wong of Rocket Jump had spoken to Oum beforehand about maybe collaborating on some projects, which they'd supposedly gotten far on. Due to Oum's sudden death, this is sadly not going to happen.
- When Haloid hit the scene, the people at Rooster Teeth took notice and contacted Oum, managed to meet with him at a con the very next week, but ultimately failed to recruit him when he took a job with the gaming company. It was only when Oum joined Rooster Teeth years later that they discovered he had only taken the other job because he had believed the recruitment offer was a joke rather than genuine. Now imagine if Rooster Teeth had told Oum that much earlier.note
- He also talked about it with Burnie in a Let's Play that was released several months before his death, which paints the situation on a much more humorous light: Oum and Burnie were both mutual fans of each other's work, and Burnie called him up. However, it fell through because Oum literally didn't understand he was being offered a job, and he said that if he had known, he would have taken it immediately.
- Monty was Team Four Star's first choice to play Future Gohan in the Dragon Ball Z Abridged version of The History of Trunks, but he passed away before it could happen. The special was dedicated to his memory.