i have been struggling between the desire to write this post and not. I am not one who normally shares much with others, even those I consider closest to me. Trust can be difficult sometimes.
When I started working at Rooster Teeth, the company was still fairly small - well very small compared to the amount of employees we have today. The animation department was undertaking it's first full scale 3D animated project, RWBY, and I was hired as the production coordinator. This meant that I was the producer's right hand on a small team and had to help coordinate varying parts of that team to ensure the product was successful.
My brain has always been incredibly rational and logical. My favorite games to play are, and always will be, Tetris and Minesweeper. I am abnormal in the creative world. Monty, however, was the epitome of "The Creative". He always found novel workarounds for processes that I didn't even realize were flawed. If there was ever an opposite brain type to mine, it was Monty's. I was excited to interact with and befriend someone so different from me. Trying to understand his brain quickly turned into an exercise in honesty and self-reflection.
Several mornings i found myself alone in the studio with Monty before everyone else arrived for the day. It was then that I found a mentor. Between the plethora of dilemmas I was facing in my personal life and struggles at work from having no prior experience in animation, I leaned on him. He was an amazing listener and used his creative mind to present solutions or helpful questions to every one of my problems. Of course, Monty and I had our share of disagreements. People so innately opposite can only expect, at least a little, conflict and resistance. I still wish I could tell him I am sorry for not understanding him during those times.
After his passing, I went through everything I could find on the internet that Monty had ever written. It took days to sort and read through but by doing this I came to understand him in a way I was never able to before. I saw him develop the principles that made him the inspiration he is today to his fans, including those who were also lucky enough to have him as a friend. I got to see more about how his mind worked and what made him steadfast in areas that I wanted to change in production. Reading what Monty wrote has lead me to become a more compassionate, honest, and open producer. I understand more of my opposite and, in doing so, better understand that there are always a myriad of solutions to any problem.
Yesterday was really hard and I think a large part of that is me still feeling so guilty about some of our experiences together. I am incredibly grateful that, shortly before his passing, Monty and I were growing closer again. I just wish I could have done more to show him how much he means to me.