Monty Oum — renowned animator of the RWBY series — passed away today at the age of 33 as a result of an allergic reaction while undergoing a routine medical procedure. Oum was a massive contributor to video game culture, particularly in the realm of machinima. You might not necessarily recognise the name, but if you’ve been into gaming for a while you’re no doubt familiar with some of his video game combat mash-ups, wherein extreme combat is combined with stellar choreographic set pieces.
Initially coming to prominence with the likes of Haloidand Dead Fantasy, his attention to detail caught the eye of a number of game company’s for whom he worked as combat designer and, finally, Rooster Teeth. Oum’s signature style is immediately apparent in the latter parts of Red vs Blue, a series following the antics of the Halo Blood Gulch squads. In 2012, Rooster Teeth announced that Oum would be creating an original work, RWBY, which has since won several awards.
Oum’s influence on games culture can’t be understated. For my part, I was a huge fan of his work; his enthusiasm was apparent in everything he created. I recall in particular an all-to-recent interview with Crunchy Roll, where he said:
“There’s much to my life that holds value about all of this because I never thought all of this would come into play. Early in my life, I was only concerned with creating, without destination or purpose; creating was the purpose itself. And as reality set in, and the need to survive came with the need to have an identity, I’ve tried many things in discovering who I am and all of them eventually became useful…. Each thing lends itself to who you are, and the hope is the person you become lends itself to what you create. And the trust (sic) texture of your experience lends texture and interest that people will find.”
You can read the full statement by Rooster Teeth here. Oum will be sorely missed.