I made a post in my RTDFW community about this, and I thought I should share it here as well;
Caution: the following (very long) post contains feels including but not limited to sorrow, nostalgia, inspiration, blue, medium, and other powerful emotions. Read at your own risk...
It's been two years since the world lost one of the most creative and inspiring minds of a generation. Monty Oum lived an exemplary life. A life that was taken from us way too soon. Gray has said that Monty's goal was not to live forever, but rather to leave something behind that would. Monty's accomplishments at Rooster Teeth have led to animation and storytelling that's changed the lives of countless fans. And his own dedication, kindness, and general character was no different.
I was fortunate enough to meet Monty towards he end of RTX 2014. While the time I spent with him was brief, it's something I'll never forget. RTX was one of the first experiences I had where I was able to actually meet and talk to some of my biggest heroes. Outside of RT, I was very used to celebrities being too busy to spend time with their fans for extended periods (reasonable), which is why I was so blown away by the people at Rooster Teeth who interacted with their fans so much. Monty exemplified this. It was the end of the weekend, the convention center was closing down, and most of the attendees and RT staff were getting ready to leave, if they hadn't already. But on my way out, I saw Monty in a corner surrounded by maybe half a dozen fans. It didn't take long for others to notice as well and we ended up beginning to form a line. His guardian was evidently exhausted and I overheard him say to Monty "hey, it's getting pretty long, do you want me to cut it off? You've had a long weekend, you've barely gotten any sleep, and-" but Monty cut him off and said "nope, nope. I'm going to spend time with my fans. If you want to take a break for a few minutes, you definitely deserve it. But it's the end of the weekend, I've got nothing better to do. Seeing the smiles on these guys faces does me way more good than catching up on sleep. Hey there, what's your name..." I'll never forget that interaction. Talking with Monty, no matter how brief, is among my most treasured memories.
The funny thing about Monty is that while he set out to make a difference with his work (and he has accomplished that in countless ways), I feel that he's actually made even more of a difference by just being himself. It's evident that his dedication to his talents alone has inspired everyone he worked with to be more productive, and enjoy it every step of the way. I think that's just one of the many things that he passed on, not just to the company, but to all of us; the fans, the community, the RT family. A family he fully helped build. His contributions at Rooster Teeth have drawn countless of people to this community; RWBY alone has drawn in thousands. And that, in turn, leads us to create smaller families like RTDFW. His work, and his character, continue to inspire people every day. And the lessons that his life taught us are ones I hope none of us ever forget.
I've heard a lot of people over the last few years ask what they can do to honor Monty best. Everyone will have different answers, but in my personal opinion; if you're asking that question, you're already doing it. Just never forget all the things that he's done, and use that as inspiration to motivate you to make something beautiful like he did. And really, just live a good life. I never liked the phrase "life is short". I think a more accurate one is that life is simply unpredictable. You never know what may happen. You could die next week, you could become famous overnight, you could save a life without knowing it. Life's possibilities are endless. But life is not exactly "short"; it can be very long if you just continue on without finding something you love. So just don't take any time, or any opportunities, for granted. Monty was taken from us too soon, but he never let any of the time that he did have go to waste. So I guess if I'm gonna give any advice from this it's to do the same. You never know how much time you have to create something amazing, to make a difference in the lives of others, or just to do what you love. So just find your inspiration, find your drive, something you love, and just go after it. Monty went above and beyond in every aspect of his life, and that's a fire that'll never go out in this community. Not if we always remember Monty Oum.
I'm not expecting everyone to actually read that long essay (thanks if you did), but I considered writing a tribute to be one of the best things I could do in the anniversary of his passing; it's my own creative masterpiece for the day.
For those who need a TL;DR, here's a tear jerking video tribute, and some of my favorite quotes;
"What we end up making is usually larger than what we think it will be"
"The most important thing, do this as often as you can; watch movies, watch shows, watch things. Just keep your eyes open."
"The goal isn't to live forever. It's to create something that will."
"Keep moving forward"
-Monty Oum (1981-2015)