Slowly, but I suppose quickly, I'm making steps to land a position out here. I would love to be helping on an upcoming production with all of the wonderful creative minds!
Networking and visiting studios is so inspirational, and after some wonderful advice from a Disney artist I met at SIGGRAPH I'm aiming to improve and redo my demo reel to reach the caliber necessary to land the Disney Talent Development position or where ever else!
Some advice I got from him, and from other SIGGRAPH attending artists.
Model from art that is appealing and inspiring. He told me, sure we can draw but those concept artist can really draw and it shows you have a great aesthetic eye! It shows you can model from someone elses concept, and make sure to show their concept as comparison (of course crediting it and most likely asking them to use it before hand, they appreciate that). Of course if you have something you think is strong don't be afraid to use that either.
Having textured items is not entirely necessary when you're applying as a modeler but good if you can and want to texture it, show its polyflow of course and maybe an action pose of a character.
For environments give it character, make it seemed lived in, what era is it? who lives in that space, age or gender? what are their hobbies?
And above all as a general statement, know your strengths and focus, tailor your reel to that. Otherwise your reel will be over saturated with so many specialties and they wont know what you're applying for. If you have a reel like that, (I sure do ;o), you can use it as a supplementary piece to display your other skills, but make your specialty one first. Make it easy for them to put you on the yes pile!
If you want to create work for a vfx house, make it realistic as can be, animation studio appealing and full of character.
As for the intro, it doesn't have to be anything fancy schmancy, just a nice title card with your name, number, site, email and specialty. Repeat it at the end.
Best things to do, keep trying, be persistent, productive and confident. You may not be where you want to be at a certain moment but keep trying and being positive, and you'll reach that dream!
Well, that's about it for the moment, if you have any questions feel free to ask!