Because films integrate both audio and visual works and the rights of publicity of actors and others in the film, filmmakers must often navigate several different types of intellectual property. Frequently, the entire film retains its own copyright, while, e.g., the film score might retain its own copyright. Thus, filmmakers should consider obtaining ownership of copyrights in the film score and other aspects of the film, such as any fonts or graphics utilized in the credits.

Filmmakers also generally like to control attempts at derivative works, i.e., works that use characters, settings, or story elements from the film in a new or different way. For example, filmmakers generally want to control whether and how a sequel or a spinoff will be made. Actors and extras in the film might enjoy a right of publicity, so a filmmaker should consider obtaining sufficient consent from these individuals prior to filming or publishing the film.