June 22, 1981
Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.
|Died||February 1, 2015 (aged 33)|
Austin, Texas, U.S.
|Occupation||Animator, screenwriter, animation director, voice actor|
|Employer||Rooster Teeth Productions|
Oum attracted attention within the gaming community after releasing an animated video in 2007, titled Haloid, where characters from the Halo and Metroid video game franchises fight against each other, which went viral. In October of the same year, he released a follow-up, Dead Fantasy. Oum began working for Rooster Teeth, serving as the lead animator for Red vs. Blue, and creating the original animated series RWBY.
Oum was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1981. He was of Cambodian, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese heritage. He had four older brothers (including Neath, who took over voicing RWBY character Lie Ren after Oum's death) and two older sisters. As a teenager, he was a student at New Urban Arts, a community art studio for high school students in Providence.
Oum dropped out of high school and began putting together fan videos as early as 2002. In January 2007, he discovered some reverse engineering techniques online that allowed him to extract models from Halo 2 and, utilizing assets from Super Smash Bros. Melee, created the "ultimate showdown" between a SPARTAN (Halo) and Samus Aran (Metroid) in Haloid, a portmanteau of their respective franchises. The videos garnered a significant number of views online. Later in 2007, Oum produced a series called "Dead Fantasy" in which characters from Final Fantasy and Dead or Alive fight.
Two months after the premiere of Haloid, many gaming companies sought Oum, and he was eventually hired by Midway Games as a combat designer. In 2008 he was hired by Namco Bandai Games as a combat designer and animator for Afro Samurai. The brief experience in the gaming industry frustrated Oum, and in 2009, he met Rooster Teeth co-founder Burnie Burns at a panel during San Diego Comic-Con International and the two discussed the possibility of Monty working for the company. It wasn't until PAX East 2010 that it was announced that Oum had been hired as an animator for the company's long-running web series Red vs. Blue.
His next work, the animated series RWBY, featured highly involved and fantastical combat sequences between super-powered characters that garnered a following online. RWBY was a commercial success for Rooster Teeth, and critical reviews highlighted the high quality of its animated fight scenes. Two seasons of the show were produced, with a third in production at the time of Oum's death in early 2015. The show has now run for eight seasons, with a ninth in production.
On January 22, 2015, Oum suffered an unspecified severe allergic reaction during an unspecified "simple medical procedure". On January 30, Rooster Teeth co-founder Burnie Burns stated that Oum was "in critical care and it is not known if he will recover". A donation page was set up for the medical expenses on GoFundMe, which received over $210,000. On February 1, 2015 at 4:34 PM, Oum reportedly died as a result of said allergic reaction. He was 33.
|2007||Haloid||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Producer, cinematographer, editor, visual effects|
|2009||Afro Samurai||Yes||Additional designer|
|2010–12||Red vs. Blue||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Cinematographer|
|2013||Internet Box Panel, RTX 2013||Yes||Yes||P. F. Chang's Deliveryman|
|2013–14||RWBY||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Creator, voice of Ren (Volumes 1 and 2)|
|Year||Award||Category||Title of work||Result|
|2014||Streamy Awards||Best Animated (Channel, Show or Series)||RWBY||Won|
|2014||International Academy of Web Television||Best Animated Series||RWBY||Won|
|2012||Producers Guild of America||Outstanding Digital Series||Red vs. Blue||Nominated|
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- "Rooster Teeth · Farewell Monty". Rooster Teeth. Archived from the original on 27 Oct 2017. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
- Slotnik, Daniel E. (February 3, 2015). "Monty Oum, Web-Series Animator, Dies at 33". New York Times. Retrieved February 6, 2015.
- Oum, Monty (2013-06-15). ""@ShawnaKhut: @montyoum Quick question. What's your nationality?" I am Cambodian, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese! :)". @montyoum. Retrieved 2020-04-10.
- Oum, Monty (6 October 2012). "Passing". montyoum.net. Archived from the original on 28 September 2018. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
- Denmead, Tyler (2019-11-08). The creative underclass: youth, race, and the gentrifying city. Durham. ISBN 978-1-4780-0659-6. OCLC 1083466366.
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- Solomon, Dan. "The Full Monty" (July 19, 2013), Austin Chronicle
- Monkelban, Andrew (2009-07-29). "Monty Oum – Hail to the King". Popten. Archived from the original on 2015-02-03. Retrieved 2011-07-05.
- Dean, Sam (2010-04-21). "Monty Oum Interview (PAX East 2010)". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-07-05.
- Burns, Burnie (2010-03-29). "Monty Oum signs on with Rooster Teeth". Red vs. Blue. Rooster Teeth Productions. Archived from the original on 2012-07-13. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
- Ryzik, Melena (February 4, 2015). "An Animator's Death Releases a Flood of Sadness". New York Times. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
For fans of a certain kind of animation, Monty Oum was the Wizard — and the King, the Knight and the Pawn, all rolled into one. Millions of people watched his web series "Red vs. Blue" and "RWBY."
- Pedersen, Erik; Bloom, David (3 February 2015). "Monty Oum Dies: Rooster Teeth Animation Director, 'RWBY' Creator Was 33". deadline.com. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
- Eisenbeis, Richard (November 11, 2014). "Another Season of RWBY Means More Epic Fights". Kotaku. Retrieved December 24, 2020.
- Collins, Clark (September 16, 2020). "Watch the trailer for 'RWBY' Volume 8". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
- Hullum, Matt (February 2, 2015). "Monty Oum has passed away". Rooster Teeth. Archived from the original on 2015-10-16. Retrieved January 29, 2022.
- Burns, Burnie (January 30, 2015). "Monty Oum hospitalized". Archived from the original on 2015-10-16. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
- Klepek, Patrick (February 2, 2015). "Rooster Teeth Animator Monty Oum Dies At 33". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
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