Mick Jagger's lips pouting so far out that they almost smack your cheek? Keith Richards's wolfish silhouette right in front of you while Charlie Watts pummels the skins waaay in the background? Thank Daniel Symmes for bringing the Rolling Stones into your living room.
Symmes is the president of Spatial Technologies, a Los Angeles-based company responsible for the 3-D effects that add a little texture to the Fox Television broadcast of the Rolling Stones Steel Wheels Concert Wednesday at 8 p.m.
Because many people associate 3-D with cheesy, grade-Z monster movies, Symmes has spent the last 20 years working to improve the image -- both literally and figuratively -- of the much-maligned effect.
"In reality, 3-D doesn't hurt the eye," says Symmes, responding to a frequent complaint of 3-D viewers. "It exercises them. Properly done, 3-D is very fun."
Symmes was hooked on 3-D as a youngster ("let's just say over 30 years ago") when he found a 3-D comic book minus the special glasses. "My mother told me I had to look at it through red and blue glasses to get the effect. I took some candy cellophane wrappers, one red and one blue, and when I looked at the comic book and saw that 3-D effect, something grabbed me right then and there. I saw this as being the true magic of the day."
He has since become a 3-D expert, working with his company to perfect the effect for movies, television broadcasts and comic books. The process works on a scientific principle, says Symmes, who describes himself as a "techno-artist." Instead of the older blue and red glasses, today's 3-D technology employs the "Pulfrich effect," named for a German astronomer who observed in 1922 that a shaded lens over one eye tricks the brain into seeing depth in moving pictures.
"I personally see it as an art form," he says. "It's a form of expression the same way color is to black-and-white. It augments or aids the storytelling process. It adds to the enjoyment."
During Wednesday's two-hour Stones concert, three songs -- "Paint It Black," "2000 Light Years From Home" and "It's Only Rock and Roll" -- are enhanced with 3-D effects. While Jagger and company cavort about the stage, tornadoes of color swirl around their feet, meteors fly by and things are, well, a bit cosmic. It's a gas, gas, gas.
The glasses are available at 7-Eleven stores.
Wynton Marsalis Honored
Eight-time Grammy winner Wynton Marsalis will receive the 1990 Paul Hume Award Wednesday night at the Levine School of Music's annual spring benefit. The event is being held at La Maison Francaise. Marsalis is being honored for his contributions to music education and his work with minority students. The award, created in 1985 to recognize "those who significantly enriched the musical life of the Washington community," is named after noted music critic Hume. Past recipients are Mstislav Rostropovich, the Kiplinger Foundation, Eugene Istomin, Jean-Pierre Rampal and Todd Duncan. For information call 337-2227 ...
Anyone with a steady hand and a sharp crayon can create impressionist masterpieces, thanks to Culpepper Press's "The Impressionists Coloring Book," available at area bookstores. It's a great way for tykes -- or adults for that matter -- to learn a little art history. The book has outlines of paintings by Monet, Gauguin and van Gogh, among others. You might want to check out the impressionist exhibits at the National Gallery of Art for some pointers on shading. Just try to stay within the lines ...
Art Against AIDS, Washington, D.C., so far has raised more than $600,000 for AIDS research and education from the sale of artwork and proceeds from various performances around the city since March. Works from the Art Against AIDS exhibit, which closed Saturday, are still available for purchase through the catalogue.
The tallies for other cities: New York, $2.5 million; Los Angeles, $1.5 million; San Francisco, $1 million; and Chicago, still counting at $600,000 ...
The seventh annual Dupont-Kalorama Museum Walk Day takes place Saturday afternoon. Seven institutions -- the Phillips Collection, the Textile Museum, the Woodrow Wilson House, the Historical Society of Washington, Anderson House, Meridian House International and Fondo del Sol Visual Arts Center -- will participate. Call 387-2151 for information.