Director Roland Emmerich loves creating disaster porn — something moviegoers normally associate with spectacular CGI effects in this day and age. The filmmaker wanted authentic pyrotechnics for his alien invasion film, however, and he was granted his wish thanks to help from a team at Hughes Aircraft in California where the model-making department worked overtime. They created miniature buildings, city streets, spaceships, landmarks, and monuments that were wrecked for our amusement. Shooting a high-speed camera downward on a tilted model so flames could rise toward the camera created the illusion that New York was on fire. In another scene, a 10-foot model of the White House was made bigger with a forced perspective shot before being destroyed with minor explosives.