In a way I'm not all that surprised by the results as I found Mad Max really entertaining as well as seeming quite fresh with it's ideas/look and directional style (as well as editing). It took a very long time for that film to get made and although the story line is thin to say the least it's all about the visuals and for once they did out way the story in a good way (that rarely happens).
TFA was a real treat to see and I can't wait to see it again at home but I'm not sure if there was anything new there with regards to the way it was made. Great design and all but it's built off the back of 6 films so hard to be seen as anything original. I know Mad Max has been done before and this new one sits quite closely to number 2 of the originals but I think as it's been such a long time since the last one it all seemed quite new in a way. Also I though George Miller who directed it, directs like a very young man with so much energy and shows what can be done at any age.
The winner of the VFX award was Ex Machina and again I can see why. That film was made with a fairly low budget but they really knew where to spend it (a few great actors and one killer designed robot by Jock!). I think it really did deserve the award and maybe there's just too much history with the Star Wars franchise to strike gold again (so to speak). Who knows though, there are plenty more films to come and maybe a few more BB 8 type ideas might paved the way for awards. One other thing to remember is that the box office for TFA really shows that there's a lot of love out there for that film and I know which one the studios would rather have out of the two options of awards or money.