On a boiling hot afternoon in early 1962, four friends were walking along a beach in Jamaica when, from across a sand dune, a man shouted at them to lie down.
The man was Terence Young, director of the first Bond film Dr No and he was about to shoot the soon-to-be-famous scene in which Ursula Andress strides, goddess-like, from the sea, wearing a barely-there bikini and an elusive pout.
The quartet of pals had unwittingly walked directly between the camera and Andress as she was about to emerge from the surf. They were poet Stephen Spender, critic Peter Quennell, playwright Noel Coward -- and Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond.
As the first Bond movie marks its 50th birthday this year it is impossible to imagine a time when Fleming's character was less than iconic.
With his crisp bon-mots, dazzling way with the ladies and impeccable stiff upper lip, 007 is one of the most recognisable figures in the movies. He's also a Hollywood cash cow, the second-highest earning franchise in cinema history after Harry Potter.
From Sean Connery to Daniel Craig, the actors who have slipped into Bond's tuxedo and loosened the safety catch on their trusted Walther PPK pistol have been forever associated with the role while, as a new blockbuster exhibition of 007 memorabilia in London underscores, the spy continues to exert a formidable grip over the public imagination.
So it is a surprise to discover that, as he took his friends on a tour of the film set in Jamaica, Fleming had deep worries over how Dr No would be received. Bond was regarded as risky property and no major studio was willing to sink significant money into the film. They feared 007 was too violent and sexualised for audiences.
Worse still, he was a Brit. Would American audiences warm to an Eton-educated trained killer with cold, gleaming eyes, fluent French, an interest in fine wine and a scar down one side of his face?
Actually, it wasn't quite true to say nobody wanted to make Dr No. Two producers had expressed an interest in the Bond novels, which were respectable sellers but hardly in the JK Rowling league. Unfortunately, neither had much money.
They were Albert Broccoli, an anglophile American living in London, and Harry Saltzman, who had optioned the books for a period of six months. Having been turned down by several studios, they eventually convinced United Artists to stump up $900,000 to finance the first film.
Initially, they'd planned on making Thunderball, only to find out that the rights were subject to litigation from another producer. As a fall-back, they decided on Dr No, which featured 007 tangling with a giant squid and whose nemesis was a cartoonish villain with hooks for hands.
A journalist and former Naval Intelligence Officer, Fleming was too much of a gentleman to tell Broccoli and Saltzman how to make their movie. Nonetheless, he had strong ideas as to what sort of a dash Bond should cut. "He is quiet, hard, ruthless, sardonic, fatalistic," he wrote to Broccoli. "He likes gambling, golf and fast motor cars."
Before casting the lead, however, they needed a script and a director.
With five directors having already said no, Broccoli convinced Young, a respected journeyman who needed the cash, to helm the project. Now all they needed was their Bond.
Their first move was to approach Cary Grant, who was flattered but felt that, as a big star, he couldn't commit himself to a franchise.
In his ever so polite way, Fleming pushed for David Niven or Patrick McGoohan (TV's The Prisoner). Unfortunately, the former was thought too famous for a spy flick and McGoohan, a deeply religious man, was uncomfortable with the sex and violence in the script.
Roger Moore was suggested. Broccoli, however, felt he wasn't the right fit. "At the time I thought him slightly too young and perhaps a shade too pretty."
It was then he had his brainwave. Broccoli remembered a young actor he'd met some months earlier, a rough hewn Edinburgh lad who, by his recollection, had oozed raw sexuality.
This former docker and navy recruit was born Tommy Connery in a slum, his family so poor an open drawer had served as his first cradle. Now he was a strapping 30-year-old, his first name changed to Sean, trying to make it as an actor in London.
Skint and eager for work, Connery sensed that Bond was a big opportunity for him. Nonetheless, he did himself few favours when he turned up for a meeting with Broccoli and Saltzman in a bomber jacket and jeans.
Still, he charmed the pair, leaving them in no doubt that he was the only British actor with the magnetism to channel Bond. As he walked back to his car, Broccoli turned to Saltzman and nodded -- they'd found their 007.
But it wasn't enough that Bond have sex appeal. He had to transmit the fact that he was at home in the world of smart cocktails and sophisticated conversation.
Connery was a rough diamond, so to prepare him for the part, Broccoli insisted he wear bespoke suits and took him dining in exclusive London restaurants.
The trick worked to such a degree that the actor actually added something to Fleming's creation.
Raymond Benson wrote in the James Bond Bedside Companion: "He was quickly moulded into a particular image that audiences seemed to like . . . One way in which he made the character his own was by giving Bond a sense of humour.
"Connery was responsible for many of the one-liners and asides which made the film Bond a more sardonic and witty character than Fleming's 007."
Dr No was a huge critical and commercial sensation in Europe. Critics swooned over Connery and noted how the potentially nihilistic Bond was softened by the actor's twinkling charm and way with a devastating double entendre.
With the studio now fully behind it, Dr No would go on to gross $6m, the equivalent of nearly $50m today.
In hindsight, Dr No very obviously set the template for the Bond movie that followed. The raw material for every Bond film that followed is all there in the opening five minutes.
"Dr No was integral in setting the stage for future Bond movies," adds Kyle Bell, author of the James Bond Movie Guide. "It has exciting car chases, over-the-top stories, larger-than-life villains, and of course Bond girls.
"Dr No also pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable for a mainstream film. It was sexually provocative for the 1960s. While it was not an exceptional movie by any stretch -- Connery alone starred in several Bond films that were better -- can anyone possibly forget Ursula Andress emerge in her bikini for the first time?"
As he lay in the sand and watched Andress stride Venus-like from the foam Fleming, you suspect, would have enthusiastically assented.